Moving Attendees to Members

Membership roll book in wooden chair

This article was written by state missionary Rob Jackson.

Last week we suggested several ways to increase your Sunday attendance. The goal is never to have more bodies to fill your worship center. Instead, we want attendees to become fruit-bearing disciples active in the local church. As my friend Chuck Lawless wrote years ago, “Membership Matters.” These suggestions help move people from guests to members:

1. Focus on Christ and His Gospel. 

Our messages must be Gospel-centered. Our world does not need to hear a good preacher. This world needs to hear from God from His Word!

2. Create a loving environment.

People need love and acceptance. Pray for and work towards this end.

3. Share the value of membership. 

Membership in a local body of Christ is essential to spiritual growth. Don’t expect attendees to understand this truth without explaining it to them.

4. Have an assimilation plan. 

The churches we have served as pastors worked on a pathway to move attendees to members. 

5. Develop a Membership Class. 

Let people know what you believe and what is expected of members before they join. We always start this class with a Gospel presentation.

6. Update your Church Covenant. 

Many of us have outdated church covenants. Some churches have no covenant. Work on a simple covenant. This covenant reinforces the truth that membership matters.

7. Encourage every member to be involved in a Sunday School class or small group. 

Although not original with me, I often tell the congregation I serve, “If we want to grow larger, we must grow smaller.” These small groups also create settings to build meaningful relationships.

8. Provide opportunities for every member to utilize his or her gifts in the church. 

We have found that active members are happy members.

9. Make your members feel special. 

I was contacted by one of the hardest-working servants I know. She is praying about changing churches. When I asked why, she stated, “No one cares what I do in this church. I want to go somewhere I am needed.” What a reminder for all of us in positions of leadership. Make your members feel valued.