Downtown-Jacksonville-FloridaEvery pastor that I speak with has a desire to reach the unchurched. In fact, every church member would agree that this is the mission. Few are actually reaching the unchurched though.

For me, I believe the reason why so many churches fail to reach unchurched people is because the church is designed for church people. In other words, we have created our churches for the insiders, but not the outsiders.

  1. Communicate to them from the stage. One SIMPLE thing that your church can do to attract unchurched people is by changing the verbiage from the platform to be understood by unchurched people. Why would an outsider want to visit your church if the announcements are only understood by the insiders? You have to communicate to them. You have to assume that they are sitting in your church every Sunday! Your sermon needs to be understood by the outsiders, not just the insiders.
  2. Be professional and strive for excellence. Unchurched people expect things to be done well. If you plan your sermon on Saturday night, they will notice. If the band struggles every Sunday, the unchurched  will notice. One thing that I have learned about the unchurched is that they want church and whatever they are doing to be done well and with excellence. Create as good of a program and execute it with as few errors as possible each weekend.
  3. Be hospitable. The unchurched hate visiting church unsure about where to go, how to act, where to park, or where to sit. They would prefer to be told these things. This is where sincere and professional hospitality comes in. Have a parking team that shows them the exact space they need to park in. Have a greeting team to greet them and take them to the kids check in area or the auditorium. Make their experience as stress free as possible.
  4. Have a secure kids program. If your kids program is not secure, do not expect to reach unchurched people. They want to feel confident leaving their kids with you. Background check every volunteer regardless of your relationship with them before they volunteer. Have policies that do not allow just anyone to go back to the kids area. Have a check in process for the kids that is professional and led by kid-friendly volunteers.
  5. Make it simple to take a next step. Don’t over-complicate that which should be simple. If someone needs to pray with someone, make it simple and easily accessible. If someone needs to sign up for baptism, to volunteer, or to join a community group- don’t over-complicate the process. Have people in place to keep this process as simple and “stress free” as possible.

These are just a few easy things that you can do without changing the complete style of your church which can take time. You can implement some of these strategies as early as this Sunday or next weekend.

What would you add to this list?

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4 thoughts on “5 Ways Your Church Can Attract Unchurched People

  1. I have one: Reference and teach to what people spend most of their time doing…working. Example: use “work” illustrations that people can connect with. Just a thought!

    There are a bunch of other tips here: http://www.centerforfaithandwork.com/article/15-steps-churches-can-take-impact-workplace

    http://www.centerforfaithandwork.com/article/why-church-shouldnt-ignore-workplace

    Another good resource by a pastor: http://www.amazon.com/Work-Matters-Connecting-Sunday-Worship/dp/1433526670/?tag=thegospcoal-20

    1. Agreed. Work is a element that most sitting in our churches spend a great deal of time, and that is where most people’s influence is at for much of the day. Definitely recommend speaking on this more often.

      Thanks for the comment.

      JE

  2. These are great suggestions. Thanks. I would add in to watch “insider” language, or “church speak”, where the speakers assume everyone is on the same page. Don’t assume everyone knows who Paul and King David are. Don’t assume everyone knows what communion or offering are and why we’re doing them. Also don’t assume everyone knows what to do during worship. Assuming can make people feel like outsiders.

    1. Totally agree. If most of what we say on stage is for insiders only or can only be understood by insiders, outsiders will not feel comfortable and therefore will not attend your church. Great reminder!

      JE

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