Perhaps more than ever there are people analyzing the health of the Christian Church in real time. While some have the goal to tear it down still others seek to learn from the data that is gathered. While I think it is of primary importance to seek Gods vision for your church, we also are wise when we consider the trends which emerge around us in our time. Carey Nieuwhof, a Pastor up in Canada has always been good at spotting these trends and is one of those who seeks to build the church. In a recent blog post he outlined six disruptive trends he sees continuing in 2017. One I found very telling was:
6. Engagement Will Become the New Attendance
The challenge these days is that even committed Christians are attending church less often. Which means you can be reaching more people overall but your attendance may be flat or growing more slowly than you hoped simply because the person who used to come once a week now comes a few times a month.
This trend bothers me because, all too often, a step away from church is a step away from Christ. Very rarely do I see an irregular church attendee growing more deeply in their faith and effectiveness in reaching others than a regular church attendee. It happens, but it’s surprisingly rare.
So how do you break the cycle of infrequent attendance?
As I outlined here, wise leaders have stopped trying to attract people and started trying to engage people.
Engagement will become the new growth engine in the future church.
Checkout the other 5 disruptive trends HERE.