Fall is coming. That means families back from vacations, kids back in school, and, hopefully, people back in church! How do you draw people back to your church and keep them there?
Here are 5 Ways to Increase Your Worship Attendance This Fall:
(1) PLAN A PROVOCATIVE SERMON SERIES
Nothing original here, but have you ever done a provocative sermon series? Have your sermons ever addressed homosexuality, evolution, the death penalty, biblical inerrancy, or some other hot topic? Our church recently did a series entitled “Elephants in the Room.” We addressed pornography, domestic abuse, depression, and other emotionally charged issues. We had people who had never set foot in a church show up. Plan and aggressively promote such a series and I can almost guarantee you will see an increase in worship attendance at your church.
(2) PREACH SERMONS THAT ANSWER A QUESTION OR SOLVE A PROBLEM
When I first began writing books I asked a veteran editor in the publishing business for some advice. He said, “People buy books that answer a question or solve a problem.” The same is true for sermons. How often do your sermons address and answer a common problem or struggle? That’s how you become relevant to your listeners. More people will come to worship if they feel your sermons help them cope and overcome their problems. Right off the bat promise your listeners that your sermon will address a problem they can’t solve like unanswered prayer, marital conflict, or fear. You will be hard pressed to find a more effective way to engage your listeners.
(3) POLL YOUR CONGREGATION FOR SERMON TOPICS AND DO A “YOU ASKED FOR IT!” SERIES
One of the most successful sermon series I ever did was not my idea. It came from my congregation. I simply asked my congregation to text or email me subjects or questions they would like my sermons to address. Let your congregation do some of the work. Poll your church for what they would like to hear a sermon on and then put a “You Asked for It” series together based on their responses. Not only will you be confident that your sermons are scratching an itch but your parishioners will feel valued and understood.
(4) PICK QUESTIONS AND DO A “Q & A” SERMON
Once again, nothing original here. However, very few pastors I know actually follow through with doing it. Use your sermon time to answer questions from the congregation. Early in the service ask them to write down a question and put it in the offering plate. During the offertory or another praise song pick out the ones you want to answer and then read and answer the questions during your sermon time. If you are really courageous, don’t prepare the questions ahead of time. Instead, just ask them to shout out questions during your sermon.
(5) POST AND BOOST YOUR SERMONS ON FACEBOOK
If you are not posting your sermon videos on Facebook you are missing a great opportunity to reach more people. When you preach a sermon that receives great feedback be sure to boost the video and encourage people to comment and share. You may also want to try posting a quote or paragraph of the sermon on Facebook and ask people to respond and share. Having an active Facebook page will draw more people to your church. If your church doesn’t have a Facebook page, get one! Today a Facebook page is just as important as a website.
Written by Charley Reeb
Charley Reeb is an author, teacher, speaker, and the Senior Pastor of Pasadena Community Church (UMC) in St. Pete, Florida. Check out his book “That’ll Preach! 5 Simple Steps to Your Best Sermon Ever”
See Charley’s blogs about preaching and more at www.charleyreeb.com
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