Many churches see growth in the Fall. As ministries begin and programs resume, attendance usually increases. The 3-month cycle of families being on vacation ends, school starts back, and people settle back into a routine. All of these factors make the Fall a great time for churches to focus on growth. There are several specific things churches need to do to capitalize on this time of year.
1- Ensure that all of your programs, ministries, and activities are contributing to your church’s stated purpose and mission.
It is easy to simply start back programs that you have always had simply out of habit or routine. There needs to be an evaluative process to ensure that everything the church is doing is helping accomplish the church’s mission in the most effective way. If it’s not, you either need to make adjustments to it or get rid of it. While this is hard, doing it will propel your church’s effectiveness forward.
2- Focus on connecting the casual attenders to your church.
During the Fall you will see an increase in casual attenders. These are people who may not be members, who don’t attend regularly, who have no relationships with others in the church, and who are not involved in a ministry. Make it a point to reach out to them. Seek to connect them more deeply to the church. Create a ministry team whose task is to visit each of these people.
3- Reach out to those in the community.
It’s not just the people in your church who settle into more of a routine in the Fall. Everyone else in the community does as well. This makes it a great time to reach out to them.
4- Seek to impact your community.
Most communities have events in the Fall. These events are a great opportunity for the church to make a difference. As a pastor, I am involved in our community’s Veteran’s Day celebration. Our church is planning to partner with our local elementary school in providing our community a Fall Festival. Our senior adults are involved in a school supply drive for our schools. Whatever your community does, get involved. Doing so will allow you to meet people who you would not otherwise meet — people who need a relationship with Jesus.
The Fall is right around the corner. Spend some time over the next few weeks determining how you and your church can make a difference for Christ.