A Practical Way To Close The Backdoor
People leave churches for various reasons, but do you know why people stay at a church? Typically, a person my come to a church for the preaching, but what keeps them at a church is the relationships.
Every human wants to be known and feel needed. When we help people feel known and needed — we ensure that the exit to the backdoor is small and few find it.
When someone first starts attending a church there is excitement and sometimes a lot of involvement. Over time the excitement fades and so does the involvement. I wish it wasn’t this way, but it is. People often treat the church like they do a gym. They go when it’s easy, and when they feel motivated. People rarely do what you expect, they do what you inspect. So when someone is feeling lazy, tired, or simply struggling with life they often feel like church is optional. When someone feels like they are known and needed, they will often rise to the occasion and do what they are suppose to do even when they don’t feel like it.
Here are two practical ways to help people feel known and needed at church.
- Connect people through small groups and volunteering. As your church grows it is increasingly difficult to keep tabs of people. That pastor and staff cannot be the only ones responsible for caring for people. In small groups people become known and through volunteering people feel needed. This changes the way you talk about these two environments. It’s now, not something you need from them. It is something you want for them. At ChurchBOOM, we provide a practical resource to train your small group leaders and your volunteer teams. It’s a practical manual that will help strengthen your team leaders. To sign up for ChurchBOOM and get instant access to these docs and more click here.
- Train team leaders and staff to contact people when they miss. This isn’t a harsh or confrontational contact. It’s simply a message that says, “You are important and we missed you.” When someone knows they are being counted on they are less likely to flake out. When someone thinks they can skip without being noticed they will. The truth is because our people are not being paid to be at church on Sundays it is viewed as optional. I wish it wasn’t, but it is. With small groups and volunteering we have built in groups that make it easier to provide care and accountability. Every Sunday after the services I think through what people didn’t I see at church, and then I contact them to let them know they were missed. More times than not I hear, “Thank you for caring so much about me. I’ll be there next week.” With volunteer teams and small groups you have rosters to check to see who showed up. When someone misses let them know they matter. Even if they miss for vacation it is loving to let them know they were missed. We do this in other areas all the time. We often let people that we care about know when we miss them. When people at church miss often no one notices and therefore we communicate no one cares.
A simple strategy that lets people know they are missed will help close the backdoor of your church. If you enjoyed today’s tips, sign up to receive emails packed with more helpful tips, tools and resources!