Set the tone for change – Let it be known that “business as usual” will no longer be acceptable. The message must be communicated through words, actions, and attitudes that an “inward focus” will not be tolerated, but a new, fresh “outward focus” is the goal. The reason? Inwardly focused churches die – Outward focuses survive and thrive.
Internet presence – A recent study found that of people who’d been attending a church for less than a year, 27% had found that church online. Your church MUST HAVE an Internet presence, with (at a minimum) the churches name, address, and service times readily available. You would be AMAZED how many churches I visit that are impossible to find online. This can be fixed quickly, easily, and at little to no cost!
Greeters – Have volunteers scheduled to be at your churches entrances early this Sunday with a friendly smile and a warm handshake for all who attend. Further responsibilities and training is great and should happen, but you can have a basic ministry up and running this Sunday – and it’s vitally important!
Organize your worship service – Know who is going to be playing the instruments and leading the singing – and those folks should know what they are going to be playing and singing sooner than five minutes before the service starts. (“Now, Bobby, YOU KNOW I CAN’T PLAY THAT SONG!” should not be heard being whispered from the platform pre-service.) Know in advance of Sunday morning who is going to be offering the special music, and notify them sometime before the middle of the service. (“If no one has a song on their heart, sister Ethel, how about coming up here and singing that one you sang at the ice cream social last year?” should not be heard from the pulpit.) Know in advance of Sunday morning who is going to be preaching, and allow that person plenty of time to prayerfully prepare a Bible based message. In other words, “Let’s act like we know what we are doing!”. Why would anyone want to commit to becoming a member of our church family if we don’t seem to take it very seriously ourselves?
Make visitors a priority – From the way we organize our worship services, to the way we plan our Sunday School classes, the way we communicate announcements, and in the way we share things in the bulletin – Let’s view everything we do through the eyes of a visitor and make them welcome from the moment they come through our door. Then, let’s be sure to follow up with them in some way after they leave in such a way that leaves no doubt to them that they are important to our church!
Commit to continuing education – Whether it be a book. a blog, or a website on church growth, a church revitalization conference, or a meeting with leadership to discuss progress, commit to regular, ongoing education designed to keep growth and revitalization at the forefront of your churches heart and mind.