So you’ve hung out door hangers, talked to your neighbors, and put ads in the paper.
If nothing seems to be working, try these 9 extreme ideas for getting people into your church.
*Note* It’s up to you to decide which of these has merit, which are kind of silly, and which are just crazy enough they might work.
1. GIVE AWAY A BIG SCREEN TV ONCE A MONTH
Let’s get the most extreme idea out of the way early. But hear me out, this might actually work. A 40″ Smart TV costs around $260. Every guest who signs in the attendance book for the entire 4 week period is eligible to win the TV. The winner would be announced on the 5th Sunday. So, for $260 you have enhanced the attendance of visitors, giving them 5 weeks to acclimate. You may be saying this is flat our bribery (and I might too), but you could also call it “our special visitors gift.” All the other visitors get a $10 gift card to Best Buy, and hopefully they will have put some money in the offering plate to offset the cost. I told you this was an extreme list…
2. OPEN A STARBUCKS IN YOUR FELLOWSHIP HALL
Keep in mind, setting up a Keurig and some discount coffee flavors will not bring people into your church. However, if you’re serving the best coffee in town, even if people need to pay something for it, you could attract sleepy-heads who need their gourmet coffee fix. Bonus Points: Let them take their coffee into the sanctuary!
3. START COUNTING OTHER THINGS AS “WORSHIP ATTENDANCE”
Our church has a couple “Holy Yoga” classes that include prayer, movement, silence, and intense spirituality. Sounds like a worship service to me. (There’s even an offering). We also have a “Kingdom Seekers” class for grade school and mid-high students on Wednesday afternoons. Part of the activity is a worship time. Singing, praying, a message, and so forth for the kids. I could make a strong argument that both of these constitute worship, thereby raising my average worship attendance by about 85 every week! So far, the only real reason I could see to “count” those as worship would be to remind our church of the sacred times outside our 8:30 & 11:00 service. Still, it’s in the back of my mind.
4. GIVE LOTS OF “SCHOLARSHIPS” FOR STUDENTS TO SING, OR…
You know the old “your mom paid me to be your best friend” gig? It actually works. “pay” a minimal scholarship to a handful of kids to sing in the choir or the praise band, and soon their parents may come, or their friends. If there’s a population segment missing from your worship, why not financially support someone who can help reach those people?
5. TWO WORDS: BREAKFAST BUFFET
$5 to eat, $3 if you’re worshiping afterwards. Again, if it’s the best in town…
Pet owners are a different breed. (get it?) There is a spiritual bond pet owners have with their pets, so why not incorporate that with worship? Have a special worship service in the fellowship hall that is pet friendly. Sing a couple songs, say some prayers, and even a short message that respects that animal world. If you’ve ever done a blessing of the animals, you know what the possibilities are.
7. GIVE TICKETS TO POLICE OFFICERS
Turn the tables! Invite the area’s police to worship, and lure them with two free tickets to the Royals (or whatever). During worship, have them stand and thank them profusely. The same idea could work with a BARBECUE FOR FIRE FIGHTERS
If you have several hair stylists in your congregation, enlist them (paid or not) to offer free hair cuts before and after worship. How about a slogan like “Look spiffy for church”?
9. OR…STOP WORRYING ABOUT NUMBERS. THINK VITALITY.
You can stop worrying so much about numbers. The truth is, Christianity in North American is on a downswing, so dropping in numbers is to be expected. Instead, focus your attention on being vital — a congregation that is aggressively reaching out into the world with love and Good News.
Funny thing…the list above, silly as it is, is the kind of stuff a vital congregation would do.
Not to make numbers,
but to make disciples.
Have a great week,