3 NEW REALITIES ABOUT CHURCH ATTENDANCE, ENGAGEMENT, AND DEVOTION

CareyNieuwhof.com | 3/8/2018 | Staff
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No secret—church attendance has fallen on hard times in the last several decades. Churches are closing, and even growing churches see people attending less often.

How do you know how to lead when everything seems to shifting all at once as North American culture becomes more post-Christian every year?

Years - Blog - Engagement - Church - Attendance

For a few years now on this blog, we’ve been talking about engagement being the new church attendance. After all, Jesus didn’t say ‘attend me’, he said follow me. And early Christians didn’t attend church, they were the church.

There are at least three things I think are very true about the times in which we’re leading (you can read more about these principles here and here):

Church - Attendance - Engagement - Engagement - Attendance

In the future church attendance won’t drive engagement; engagement will drive attendance.

If you want your church to grow, stop trying to attract people. Start trying to engage people.

Future - Church

In the future church, only the engaged will attend because only the engaged will remain.

So what does that mean? Does it mean attendance doesn’t matter anymore?

Leaders - Attendance - Reasons

I’ve heard a few leaders say just that—that attendance doesn’t really matter anymore. For the reasons outlined below, I’m not sure that’s true.

Just because gathering a crowd is harder these days doesn’t mean it’s not important. In fact, even in a post-Christian age where there are a million digital options, a 24/7 culture, travel sports on weekends for kids, and infinite sea of options for people, it may be more important than you think.

Realities - Church - Attendance - Engagement - Devotion

Here are three new realities about church attendance, engagement and devotion.

So why does attendance still matter?

Deluge - People - Point - Attendance - Devotion

I can only imagine the deluge of upset people commenting on this point, but I’m going to say it anyway: generally speaking, the more casual the attendance, the more casual the devotion.

Infrequent attendance is often a sign of diluted devotion.

Someone

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