Even large churches struggle with keeping members coming back every week. Sometimes, it’s just that members have busy schedules.
However, sometimes the problem lies with church leadership. This is when church leaders must change in order to boost attendance and even encourage new growth.
The good thing is the necessary changes aren’t that difficult. They just make a major difference in how members feel about the church.
1. Stop Micromanaging
It’s hard to give up control sometimes. You know exactly how you want something done and even though you have capable staff and volunteers, you micromanage every person and project. While it might seem like passion to you, it just drives everyone else away. Micromanaging isn’t helpful at all and means your church gets less done.
It’s okay to give up control to the volunteers you’ve trained. If they need help, they’ll ask. Making this simple change boosts volunteers and keeps the entire church happier.
2. Listen To What Members Want
How often do you listen to what your members want? Or, do you have a set vision of how things should be and refuse to budge? It’s easy to think of yourself as a leader, but forget that the most effective leader is one who works as part of a team.
According to Entrepreneur, leaders are at their best when they feel purposeful and are collaborating with others. Church leaders must change to have a more collaborative mindset and listen to what members need. Maybe you’ve had an influx of young families who need a private area to calm fussy babies. Maybe you have a volunteer that wants to help install a better sound system so everyone can hear better.
By listening, you discover positive changes the church can make to keep members coming back.
3. Embrace Social Media
Social media can be one of your best tools for engaging members and reaching the unchurched. However, church leaders are often hesitant to use it. After all, social media does have a bad reputation at times. When used correctly, it’s actually helpful for boosting attendance and driving growth.
Church leaders must change their views on social media. After all, many of your members use social media regularly. Engaging them where they hang out online ensures they keep church in mind all week.
4. Create An Engaging Website
Every church needs a website, but if church leaders don’t approve it, then it doesn’t happen. However, a church blog alone works wonders at engaging members and keeping them coming back. Now, imagine having a website that features a calendar of events (so no one forgets dates), a list of volunteer opportunities, a forum or contact form to ask questions and of course, standard church details (for new visitors).
Having an engaging website gives your members something to check out to stay in touch with their church 24/7. Plus, it gives them a way to attend even if they can’t physically be at church.
5. Accept Feedback
No one likes to hear they’re doing something wrong. It’s not the best feeling in the world. However, church leaders must change their mindset about feedback. While you’ll get some negative criticisms that aren’t helpful, many comments help you improve your leadership.
For instance, maybe you don’t interact with members much after church or your posture seems too intimidating to members. Sometimes just making a few simple changes based upon member feedback drastically changes how members view church leaders and makes them want to come back.
Have an anonymous feedback box to make members feel more comfortable leaving constructive criticisms.
6. Get More Involved
Church leaders have their plates full, especially in understaffed churches. The only problem is when members rarely see their leaders, they feel as if leadership doesn’t care. They don’t realize how hard you’re working to keep the church running.
Even though time isn’t on your side all the time, make an effort to interact with members more often. This is also a great reason to spend extra time training volunteers to help take some of the burden off of you. Don’t be afraid to ask your community to step up and help you. Let them know you’re overwhelmed and want to spend more time working alongside them versus just in the background.
7. Let Go Of The Past
This might be the hardest change of all. Church leaders must change and let go of the past. What worked in a church 50 years ago might not work at all today. Always doing things the exact same way limits growth. It’s okay to let go of how you did things years ago and try something new. Your member attendance actually depends on it.
Are you ready to make some changes? Start with a church website to stay in contact with your members 24/7.