Over the last month you have heard the Elders share a vision for 2017 of seeing our average Sunday attendance rise by 20% over 2016. I’d like to come behind what they have shared with a little more information and context.
The attendance average for FCC hit a significant snag in the spring and summer of 2015 when the average Sunday attendance dropped to 75. It then became a goal of seeing the attendance rebound by at least 20% over the next year (September 2015-August 2016) or 90 people. We actually saw a recovery and our average Sunday attendance increased to 92 people.
This year again, the Elders sought to see us reach a 20% attendance increase once more. However, we felt that we needed to make the congregation aware of this goal.
The reason informing the congregation was deemed important, was because we wanted the congregation to own the vision for growth as well. Congregational buy-in is necessary because it is the congregation that will ultimately determine whether we will reach our goal or not.
There are two determinants helping us achieve the growth that we dream of for each member:
1) If we attend ourselves … nationally, the average church attender now attends church only 27 times per year — that is only one Sunday over half. At FCC, we have noticed the national trend in our own attendance as choices of sports, sleeping in, and other things have squeezed out church attendance.
Attending half of the time will do to you spiritually the same thing as eating half of the time will do to you physically. We can do better for ourselves spiritually.
2) If we invite others to attend … studies show that at best, 25% of church members ever invite someone to church. Yet, over 50% of unchurched Americans say they would attend church if a friend invited them.
Part of our mission is to help others know Jesus. Inviting them to church may be the best way of helping them know Him. Who have you invited? Keep inviting. Find new people and invite them too.
20% and Beyond