Church attendance

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Church Attendance

A discussion about attendance at morning and evening services, midweek meetings and the importance of ministry context.

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Early in 2018, Ray Evans (Church Leadership Consultant and Pastor of Grace Community Church, Bedford) gathered a small group together to talk about crucial topics affecting church leaders. The group are (from left to right)...

  • Eric Harmer (Pastor, Barton Evangelical Church)
  • Gareth Russell (Pastor, Westgate Chapel, Bury St Edmunds)
  • Al Gooderham (Pastor, Grace Church Doncaster)
  • Ray Evans
  • Mark Howson (Pastor, Mickfield Evangelical Church, Suffolk)

We decided to be a fly on the wall as these five pastors discussed church attendance; the effect of internal migration on church life; and the changing face of our communities.

In this first film, the discussion covers morning and evening services, midweek meetings and the importance of ministry context. What are some of the challenges and how should leaders seek to address them?

We recommend watching this with your leadership team and then considering the questions below.

Questions for Discussion

  • How would you describe the pattern of attendance at the main meetings your church holds? Have you ever worked out approximately what percentage of people are away when you hold your main meeting(s)?
  • Have you thought about why people are away and what else they are doing when they are not there? The video mentioned quite a few ‘modern lifestyle issues’, for example with divorce being a common thing many families have four sets of parents/grandparents to see and members may be away more often than in the past. What are you finding?
  • How can you help Christians better understand that meeting together and edifying one another is a vital part of them growing as disciples? How do you, in your circumstances, prioritise this without being over-controlling?
  • If you hold two meetings on a Sunday how is that going? If you don’t, what effect may that be having on the long-term discipleship of believers and their families?
  • What about your midweek meetings. What proportion of people attend something in the week – either at a meeting where everyone is together, or in small groups? Have you thought about ways to improve this aspect of church life?

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