Have you ever met a pastor who hated the idea of their church growing?
Every pastor I’ve ever met wants their church to grow.
And without visitors, your church will never grow.
Of course what’s helpful is that there are prime times for people to visit your church.
Christmas is prime time for church visitors.
In spite of the rabid commercialization of the season people still connect Christmas with Christ so an invite to a church service or event is seen as quite normal.
Easter is also prime time for visitors. People are drawn back to church during this significant season on the Christian calendar.
Special events like baby dedications, water baptisms and Mother’s Day also lend themselves to being attended by people who don’t regularly attend your church.
You can also create special events that become a doorway into your church.
All of these events represent a significant opportunity to open wider the front door to our church. One of my good friends said to me recently that closing the back door of our churches is impossible but we can make the front door bigger & easier to access.
So what can you do to increase the number of church visitors?
Start praying in your services for new people to attend your church. Even better, start praying the prayer Jesus gave us in Matthew 9:37-38 which is to ask for workers in the harvest field.
Pray this privately, publicly in services and prayer meetings and small groups. I think this prayer Jesus gave us should be the most repeated prayer in our churches.
2. Preach it!
Preach on the importance of hospitality. Your preaching can help create a visitor friendly culture which builds an environment of warmth and welcome to strangers.
3. Train hospitality
Take time during your services to train your entire church in how to and greet visitors. Most of us are awkward around strangers so we default to our comfort zone of the familiar and avoid the foreign. Your people need practical help to move them to the unfamiliar soil of engaging with strangers.
4. Invite someone
Modelling is the most powerful way to influence your church so start inviting people. Tell your church who you are inviting, why you are inviting them and the responses you have been getting from people.
Your open sharing with embolden your people as they see you leading the way by example. Make sure you share the disappointments as well as the positive responses.
5. Quiz your key leaders
Ask your key leaders who are they inviting and what responses are they getting from their and family. This not only provides appropriate accountability as you disciple leaders but also encourages your church as they see their leaders forging a path for them to follow.
6. Take a fresh look
Take a fresh look at your car park, foyer, and children’s area through the eyes of a visitor. Drive into your car park as if you were a first time visitor.
Then walk into the and look for the signs to the toilets, children’s and auditorium. This will awaken you to the awkwardness visitors often and help you prepare better for their arrival.