7 Ways To Grow Church Attendance By Increasing Engagement


In an era of declining church attendance, how do you grow your church and advance your mission?

Well, one key is this: you turn ordinary attendees into passionate champions of the mission. Not convinced? I outlined 5 reasons why engagement will drive almost all future church growth in this post.

For too long, too many North American Christians have thought that sitting passively in the back row to get fed is what’s required of them, or that the main goal of finding a church is to attend one you ‘like.’

The goal of any Christian should never be to find a church you like and sit in the back row. The goal should be to fully engage the mission.

Again and again, it’s engaged Christians who advance the mission.

Engaged people are passionate people. They know what the mission is, they serve in it, and they live it out.

They’re passionate enough about it to invite their friends.

Over the long-term in a church, you can accomplish more with 300 engaged Christians than with 3000 disengaged attendees.

The disengaged group will dwindle. The 300 engaged Christians will advance the mission and never stay the same.

Yes, only God can bring growth. But he uses people who are engaged to do it.

So if you were going to drive engagement at your church, how would you do it?

Here are 7 ways to grow engagement in-person: (If you want 7 tips to increase digital engagement, you can get them in the 2021 Church Leader Toolkit here.)

1. Challenge people to serve

People who serve in the mission are people who are engaged in the mission.

I know this is near heresy in some circles, but encouraging people to volunteer may be more important than encouraging them to join a group.

At Connexus, where I serve, we’re finding that our healthiest people are not those who are in groups: they’re those who serve. People who serve (as a rule) get the mission. They’re on a mission. And they love the mission.

Our goal is to get everyone into a group, but only doing group can lead can feed into a self-centred agenda in the same way as sitting in the back row and not engaging the mission is a bit of a selfish approach to church for a long term Christian.

Groups can be about you, whereas serving is almost never about you.

I still think everyone should be in a group, but if a group is all you do as a Christian, it can feed into the consumer frenzy that is North American culture.

If you need to improve your volunteer culture, I outlined 7 questions volunteers ask but never say out loud in this post. I also devoted an entire chapter to creating a healthy volunteer culture in my book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Can Help Your Church Grow. I teach this material in depth (and much, much more) in my Church Growth Master Class, as well.

2. Provide a clear path toward involvement

The challenge for many people who participate in a congregation is that they don’t know what to do to get involved.

Church websites can be fuzzy about next steps. So can church leaders.

Often during services we list 12 things people can do to get more engaged in their faith and in the mission.

Faced with too many choices, most people choose nothing.

The clearer and simpler the path is toward in engagement, the more people will travel it.

At Connexus Church, where I serve, we reorganized our lobby a few years ago, ditching the ‘Welcome Desk” for two simple kiosks.

Now, we have a “New Here” kiosk for new guests. And we have a “Next Steps” kiosk with trained guest services people who act a bit like concierges who can help people discover which next step is best for them (baptism v. serving v. joining a group v. Starting Point etc.)

At every level, we try to take the confusion away and simply help people engage.

We also try to make our language from the front clear and direct.

3. Focus all programs around your mission

Years ago, we dumped a program-based model of church (if you can dream it, we’ll do it) for a much simpler model.


In part, we moved to a simpler model because when you give people too many choices, people choose nothing.

But we also changed it because we realized that what people are involved in becomes the mission.

So if you have lots of off-mission programs (like the Quilting Club or the Men Who Eat Bear Meat Fellowship), you will have a hard time focusing people on what you really want them to do.

They’re passionate about their ministries, but not the ministry.

And that’s the problem. Too many Christians get passionate about their mission, not THE mission.

If you want people to be passionate about the central mission of your church, only do programming that directly advances the central mission.

When you say ‘no’ to a hundred other missions, you say ‘yes’ to the most important mission.

4. Make it uncomfortable to stay disengaged

People eventually conform to expectations.

Tell a child he’ll never amount to anything, and he’ll likely give up on the dream of college. Tell a child she can persevere and accomplish the tasks ahead of her, and she likely will.

People both rise and descend to our level of expectations.

The same is true of congregations.

When you don’t expect people to do more than to attend your church, don’t be surprised if all they do is attend your church.

Craft a culture through your words, calls to action on a Sunday, and in all your communications where you expect people to serve, join a group, bring a friend and give generously.

5. Preach action, not knowledge

Preachers have this incredible 20-40 minute window with which to speak into people’s lives every week.

You can use it to give people information or you can use it to call people to action.

The second is far better.

Not that you need to hammer people every week. But with your words you can make it clear that the goal of the Christian faith is not to know something, but to do something with what you know.

If you continue to talk about how to get involved and join the mission, providing clear action steps and opportunities to do so, eventually more people will engage. If you don’t, they won’t.

So do it.

6. Try using active language

We’ve had a simple model of church at Connexus since we started, but right now we’re changing the language of engagement from more passive language to active language.

Here’s the background.

For years, we’ve used these four single words to explain our simple model of ministry and call people to action:

Connect (for groups)

Serve (to volunteers)

Invite (to invite a friend)

Give (to donate)

Next month, we unveil new language to convey the same steps.

We’ve added a fifth step because we’re seeing so many unchurched people, and we’re moving to more active language designed to drive action and engagement:

Become a Christian (new)

Join the Mission (was “Serve”)

Bring a Friend (was “Invite”)

Choose Community (was “Connect”)

Give Generously (was “Give”)

The idea is that these phrases roll off the tongue more naturally and paint a clearer outcome toward deeper engagement with the mission than the old language did.

We imagine a day when hundreds more people become Christians, join the mission, bring friends, choose community and give generously.

That kind of action changes cities.

Whatever language you use, make sure it conveys the outcome you long for.

7. Reward Progress

However you define increased engagement, reward it whenever you see it.

How can you do this?

a. Celebrate it publicly

Sometimes church leaders are great at asking but not at reporting back afterward.

If you ask for volunteers and you get 75 new ones, make a point a point of celebrating it the next weekend. Tell some stories. Shoot some video. Thank people.

Ditto when people give generously, or bring a friend, or when 100 new people join community group.

Pretend it’s baptism Sunday…and celebrate.

b. Affirm it privately

When you see someone jump in, thank them. Mention it when you talk to them in the foyer.

Thank them in the next email you send them.

Write them a hand written thank you card.

c. Celebrate with your key leaders

Senior leaders can easily fall into the trap of rewarding attendance, not engagement.

To increase engagement, start celebrating how many people signed up rather than how many people showed up.

When you talk about steps and celebrate when people take them, great things happen in your organization.

Staff and key volunteers need to know when they’re winning. Help them see it.

Signing up is better than showing up.

Remember, as a leader, what you celebrate matters.

As Andy Stanley has said so many times, what you celebrate gets repeated.

How Do You Drive Engagement?

Those are my current thoughts on helping churches drive engagement.

If you want more, I wrote a series of posts on attendance v. engagement that you can access for free below.

I also outlined much of the strategy in my book, Lasting Impact, designed for discussion you can have with your staff and elder board. If you’re looking to walk through this material and dive much deeper into conversation, check out my Church Growth Masterclass, open now.

Here are some blog posts and Leadership Podcast episodes for additional reading, listening and context:

5 Reasons Engagement Will Drive Almost All Future Church Growth

10 Reasons Even Committed Christians Are Attending Church Less Often

CNLP Episode 23: Why People Are Attending Church Less Often—An Interview with Will Mancini.

5 Ways to Embrace Infrequent Church Attendees

10 Predictions About the Future Church And Shifting Attendance Patterns

CNLP Episode 24: Churchless: Why and How America is Learning to Live Without The Church—An Interview with David Kinnaman

3 Things That Are Sabotaging The Church’s Future

Keys To Deepening Digital Engagement

What about you?

How do you drive engagement? Scroll down and leave a comment

7 Ways To Grow Church Attendance By Increasing Engagement


  1. Darrell Jennings on September 14, 2021 at 11:43 am

    I really like the New Language you guys are adopting for Serve, Invite, Connect and Give. Could our church adopt that terminology or is it copyrighted?

    • Sam Hlobelo on September 18, 2021 at 3:38 am

      Hi Darrell please help me forward church growth tips when time permits you..

      I just read the passage above and am wowed and eye opened.

      Looking forward

    • AUGUSTINE ODEY on October 19, 2021 at 4:34 am

      Awesome 👌 insight, may the wisdom of God continue to grow in your life and ministry!

  2. ANIEKAN NSSIEN on June 15, 2021 at 6:58 am

    This is so interesting, it’s my first time of reading through and I am greatly bless. Pls what do you need to put in place or what are the things to consider when starting a church from zero level?

  3. Chris Pederson on March 25, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    I like your attitude about engaging yourself in a church. I want to find a church that I can go to. Maybe there is one near me that needs more active and engaged members.

  4. Sam Andrews on March 10, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    I liked how you mentioned that people who serve missions are known to be more engaged with going to church. My brother is struggling with his faith and he was wondering how he could become more engaged with his church. I’ll let him know that he should look into possibly serving a mission.

  5. Jeremiah jensman on March 4, 2021 at 2:57 am

    Explain ways the church will have a positive impact a society

  6. David Walker on February 2, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    I liked how you mentioned that people who serve a mission are usually more engaged in their faith. My brother is wanting to become Christian and he was wondering how he could get engaged with the church. I’ll be sure to tell him that he should consider serving a mission for his church.

  7. Marri on January 22, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you for all of the great information and content! Can you please make these sharable via email with the share button?

  8. Hesketh Matthew on January 7, 2021 at 11:33 am

    I’ve been trying to sign up for the Church leader Toolkit and asking me to submit promo code. Have not seen a primo code, please help.


  9. Geoff White on December 18, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Re. Bring a Friend. Our Daughter (an insurance agent) asked me for a slogan to promote an upcoming seminar for clients and potential clients. I suggested “Be a Friend; Bring a Friend”. I think she used it to some effect.

  10. Ruth Moore on December 17, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Fellowship of Men who eat Bear Meat – I needed that laugh this morning!
    I’m confused by the “signing up is better than showing up” idea. I have people who always sign up and can be counted on to show up late or not at all. I celebrate those that showed up. What am I missing?

    • Cindy on December 17, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      I feel like he means instead of attendance being your measurement when surveying the health of your church, consider how many people are engaged in fulfilling the goals of the church. A healthy church is a group of people engaged in the mission; doers and not just hearers. A small number of involved people contribute more to the health and fulfillment of the great commission than many spectators or bench warmers as we used to say.

  11. Ikenna Dunu on February 24, 2020 at 6:23 am

    this is lovely. all the way from Nigeria. i enjoyed every bit

  12. Joshua Oti on February 11, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Thank you so much for this guidance. I’m so blessed by it. Please I need more articles/teachings.

  13. Anthony DiMaio (@AmericanWritr) on January 30, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Carey… like reading your content. Have to say that the purpose of a church isn’t to give people stuff to do. Volunteer. Get involved. It is truly to walk out the mission of Jesus as it relates to each individual member. I am tired of your busy model. Be still and know that I am God and God will begin to do the things only God can do. Too many celebrity pastors are building the church, and Jesus is standing along side saying, “Let me know when you are done!”

    • Marcia on March 2, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      Here I sit at my computer after a regular Sunday. So many things were well done. I am sure that God was pleased with our faithful efforts as leaders but I am seeing fewer and fewer faithful people. Every week my husband preaches a passionate message of faithful servant hood and gives a challenging application. The church is often moved to tears and leave and disengage. They don’t participate in offered life giving community life. They last awhile and then leave because “no one cares” (at least that’s the message). They have put in no effort and then blame the church. Here we are passionately beating the drum to enter the fray. We NEED help! We NEED encouragement! We NEED a fresh strategy! I am so thankful for something to offer because as much as we pray, carefully plan, enthusiastically serve and love, we are falling short. I appreciate the simple suggestions to adjust our sails.
      Please go easy on those who are helping. I am not sure that unkind works are helpful but they are certainly hurtful.

      • Mary Lamb on October 18, 2021 at 7:25 pm

        People learn by watching others, not by listening to people giving lectures. Most churches are lecture halls where a sermon is preached and no one is inspired. God only has one way to allow for church growth. Everyone contributes their spiritual gifts for mutual edification.

  14. Lynda on January 19, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    I am in a church with an ageing population. It acts more like a club than a church, I am so thankful for finding your website. I have no idea where to start. We renewed our Mission Action Plan and I have received comments like, ‘Good luck with that’. ‘We’ve tried that before’. ‘That won’t work here’. How do we break a culture of ‘we’re a club’?

    • Steve Newcomb on January 20, 2020 at 10:31 am

      First, know your not alone in the resistance your facing. I’m praying for you and your church family. Second, the fact that you’re having the conversation is positive. God loves them and wants them to grow much more than we do. Hang in there.

  15. Jacob Netherton on January 18, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Great article! Would love to see examples of how Connexus is incorporating their new language.

  16. John Hodnett on January 18, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Carey, thank you for this article! You hit so many nails on the head! Thank you. Ordering Lasting Impact right now.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2020 at 11:40 am

      Amazing! I hope it helps!

  17. Alan Newton on January 18, 2020 at 9:35 am

    I realized early in ministry that members were engaged in mission yet it was unknown and not celebrated by the congregation. By having a moment for mission at the time of the offering each week gave members an opportunity to share their passion and allowed the congregation to affirm and celebrate their Christian service. Growing up in the church the only Christian service celebrated and honored was the volunteerism in the church. It was as if the personal mission work was not of value.

    By creating opportunities for sharing personal missions, children, youth and adults expanded the vision of the church and enticed others in the congregation to be involved. For example, one youth shared that much of her allowance went toward sponsoring a child in another country. Her sharing led 15 others to do the same.

    If no one was available to share on any particular Sunday the mission ministry shared highlighted a mission partner, special offering or a church project.

    How wonderful it was to claim individual acts of Christian service as a part of the ministry of the congregation and bless these individuals as church ambassadors in the community.

  18. Joseph on January 14, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    This is an inspirational article Carey. Engagement is key to church growth. How do you feel about encouraging members each service to write down the most powerful message from each service? This involves active listening. Then, ask them to share this message with others. This not only maintains engagement at church but allows the member to engage with potential new members about the church.

    Another way of engaging people both in and out of the church and sharing information about the church, is recommending the church to join churchesnear.com. Yes, I am a little bias as I developed the site, but for that same reason I know the site is designed for the sole purpose of helping churches grow. Once a church joins, new people who just moved to the area and are looking for a church can find your church. Even better, it allows everyone to share your church on the most popular social media platforms to their community. I’d like to leave a 60% lifetime discount here for all pastors, church leaders, and all of Carey’s readers who need help increasing their church attendance. Just visit churchesnear.com/invite and use the coupon code: WELCOME. If anyone needs help growing their church, just leave a reply and I will be glad to assist. God bless.

  19. Mande Vincent on December 28, 2019 at 8:13 am

    I like this kind of learning from experienced people.

  20. Brian Page on December 15, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    I am transitioning from acting Youth Pastor to a Media and Outreach Ministry roll. My background consists of Regional Sales Management in which I built teams of door to door salesman under contract with national Telecom companies.

    I feel pulled to launch a ministry volunteer group “Forest Lights” however I am faced with a diminishing church body made up of 90% over age 60 and they seem resistant to the notion of parking lot and D2D evangelism. Most visitors in the 30-early 50’s range don’t seem to stick due to the reserved and non inclusive attitudes towards younger generations.
    Praying for insight on how to break this cycle and build cooperative mindsets.
    My lead Pastor is constantly driving the All In for God message and Works for Christ. He has dropped a lot of the monthly groups like Men under fire due to low attendance. He is frustrated as well with the 3+ year uphill battle to create change and is only 53 yrs old himself. We have lost at minimum 30% of the original membership (part of older generation) since he took over because he does insist on accountability and Christian.behavior and pushes involvement. Even after stamping out a majority of the ethical problems, gossiping and putting into practice actual church doctrine the struggle remains as attendance drops.

    I want to help my pastor and mentor just not sure how. My only immediate idea is to make a plan and head out alone and maybe build membwr interest and change the environment through increased visitor results? But fear the potential negative impact on working age families upon visiting since it seems most members do not care about empty chairs as long as they have their parking spot, favorite church seats and small network of coffee drinking friends.

    What to do??

    Yours in Christ,
    Youth Pastor Brian
    Church in peril.
    Ocala Forest Silver Springs ,FL


    • Steve Newcomb on January 15, 2020 at 1:51 pm

      Interested on following up with your situation.

  21. Pastor Joel on November 29, 2019 at 9:26 am

    I’m glad you wrote to us

  22. Pastor Tamas Sousou on October 22, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    I love the message that you share it might help for the growth of my ministry God bless

  23. Sam on September 9, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Good day,

    Am experiencing church growth now… Kindly help me with things to do to retain church members. That is, CHURCH MEMBERSHIP GROWTH SUSTAINABILITY

  24. Lee E on September 4, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    This Is a good post and a great read. Thank you for writing this article. It has helped us a lot.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on September 5, 2019 at 3:08 pm

      Glad to help!

  25. Luke on July 16, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks for the article , has helped me a lot

    • Carey Nieuwhof on July 17, 2019 at 4:15 pm

      Glad to help!

    • Emmanuel Chipulu on July 20, 2019 at 9:43 am

      I have been helped in my studies, may God richly bless you and continue to use you. Amen

    • Ellen Noi on July 24, 2019 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks so much I learn a lot from this

  26. Musa on May 15, 2019 at 10:19 am

    This is really great. I love it, and I pray that more of God’s grace on you in Jesus Christ name Amen

  27. Herbert Tusiime on April 23, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks for great work. I also want to grow my church . I need your help and guidance

  28. Khokan Biswas on March 18, 2019 at 3:53 am

    I pastor Khokan Biswas from Kolkata India.
    Those 7 rules will be effective for Europe countries only, because in India 1 dollar = Rs. 70. Then , who will provide initial money to church growth? Here offering collection each Sunday is Rs. 100. Then for discipleship trainings ,Sunday school program and conducting fasting program where from the money will come? In entire four gospels are not The Lord taught multitudes spiritual things and also sometimes He fed them? In India if you follow the same rules then believers and church will increase rapidly. That is the truth. In Christ.

  29. AJDiMaio on January 29, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Forgive me Carey, but this article hit me hard. It is more Carnival Barker strategies being barked from the pulpit. If what is happening is not reaching people where they are, you will be forcing them to do things, and what is not necessary is more stuff to do.

  30. ogunkunle abiodun Stephen on January 9, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Thank you, God will increase your wisdom and foresight. These are practical ways to move the people of God.

  31. Jo Anne Taylor on December 19, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Usually, it irritates me when you post old content. This time, the hair is rising on the back of my neck. I’ve been praying for God to show me “the next step” in leading my church, and the past few weeks, the message has been coming through loud and clear: get people engaged. My first preaching series in the new year is going to be all about engaging in the coming year – with God, with each other, with the community. Thanks for some sermon fodder!

    • Francis Barasa on February 18, 2019 at 4:37 am

      I need to hear more from you. I am a pastor From Kenya

    • delores matthews on October 28, 2019 at 10:06 am

      I enjoy reading the information provided for church growth. Thank you so very very much. I will try using these methods.

  32. Gilbert on December 13, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks a lot for the topic it will be helpful to my local church.

  33. David Finley on December 12, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    This is a great list, but I’m tired of “7 ways to do this” or “10 ways to do that”. You’ve described 7 ways to get people engaged with the mission. Have you written anything about what that mission should be?

    • Christina on January 9, 2019 at 9:11 am

      I would start with Matthew 28:19-20, as it was Jesus’ charge to His disciples before He left. Pray on it, discuss with any leaders in your church, etc. But I believe the Great Commission to be the central mission of the Church (the collective body of Christ) in general.

  34. Apostle Amos Abaasa on December 6, 2018 at 4:24 am

    My name is Apostle Amos Abaasa leading Biblical Truth Ministries ,What can we do to motivate the leaders in church?

    • Dale Carter Sr. on November 2, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      That is my Question.

  35. www.mcafee.com/activate on December 1, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?

    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would really
    like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would
    enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free
    to shoot me an e mail.

    • Tamas Sousou on October 22, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      I learned some lessons from this post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the church growth God bless

  36. Paul Tumwebaze on October 31, 2018 at 12:23 am

    I have been so blessed by the approach and in my church I act in office of the administration, I really need someone willing to extend a hand so that we can move this agenda.
    I have for the past been listening to some preachers say about how the church is weakening but I had not experienced it. So I need a team we can invite you to our church so that we practically exercise these strategies.
    Thank you and God bless you

  37. Noah Mitchell on August 21, 2018 at 4:56 am

    Super helpful post! Really loved the bit about expecting people to engage. In our church, no one really expects much of anyone, so I feel it’s a long road ahead!

  38. Greg Yount on July 30, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Great article! This puts into laser focus the practicality needed in our church. I only hope that I’m not too late to implement this here. All the other work I’ve done (mission, vision, organization, planning, etc.) now comes down to this. Now, I pray the Lord will help me to do this here.

  39. […] Want to get people more engaged? Here are 7 ways to grow church attendance by increasing engagement. […]

  40. Paul Daramola on July 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Great article, indeed; and of course, well delivered! My Question is, “But how can you (or we) engage people in the Church just to get them along without solid clarification on how ‘to get them saved first’ before engaging them in the Church?” I am sure, God is not author of confusion!!!

  41. Tim Miller on July 17, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Just an observation on point 6 (Active Language) from an old English teacher. You’re replacing passive verbs that are actually more recent in the English language with older, bolder verbs.

    “Become,” “bring,” “choose,” and “give” all came from the old Anglo-Saxon parts of the English language. They’re plain, strong words. This is a great technique espoused by Winston Churchill, prime minister of England during WWII.

    You’re in good company!

  42. […] action, and rewarding progress (Carey describes these engagement tactics in greater detail here). A simple way to mobilize your current members? Equip them with tools that make it easier to […]

  43. Pastor Solomon Daboh on May 31, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Hi, thanks very much for providing such powerful teaching.
    God bless you and your ministry

  44. Maina David on May 24, 2018 at 7:42 am

    I am so greatful to be here, it has bored my ministry for awhile now looking around for solutions. Hope you will always keep in touch in with me.

  45. […] The goal of any Christian should never be to find a church you like and sit in the back row. […]

  46. […] 7 Ways To Grow Church Attendance By Increasing Engagement […]

  47. Eli Mirasol on April 13, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    I learned a lot of new revelations here. Thank you sharing these. Keep on inspiring and encouraging churches all over the world. Shalom!

  48. […] sure by the grace of God, but also after almost five years of focusing on increasing engagement in these seven ways. I also outlined why we made the shift and many people have made the shift in my book, Lasting […]

  49. Pastor ebuka baron on March 31, 2018 at 5:44 am

    A wonderful piece of great wisdom.
    Thank you.

  50. […] The growth in the number of new unchurched people has come for sure by the grace of God, but also after almost five years of focusing on increasing engagement in these 7 ways. […]

    • Pr. gIFT on March 20, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      Great wisdom. I pray that i put this in action

  51. Emwinghare Love on March 6, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Thanks for this article. God bless you greatly

  52. Emwinghare Love on March 6, 2018 at 4:13 am

    Great article. I enjoyed and appreciate it. God bless you

  53. […] If you want more on how to engage the people you have in the mission, here are 7 ways to do it. […]

    • The Creator's Word Church on February 13, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      I’m so excited about this and blessed IJN. I know GOD will change everything about the church and the people who are in Liberia through your program, “7 Ways To Grow Church”…

  54. Rabin Coleman on January 26, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Great article.. Leadership needs to be present throughout the organization.
    Growing the organization must be a commitment , not just a idea or wish.

    • Pr. GIFT on March 20, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      Yes Leadership is important. I will do this to keep the church growing

  55. […] 7 Ways to Grow Church Attendance by Increasing Engagement – Carey Nieuwhof – There is so much wisdom here, not just about church attendance but about how to get folks engaged. With the tension of disengagement and productivity in the workplace, Nieuwhof gives sound counsel on how we can demonstrate valuing and increase engagement. […]

  56. Ed on November 25, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Where is at least one quote from God’s Word (The Bible) to support any of your points on this topic? Aren’t you feeding people what “man” teaches, and not what God teaches? No wonder so much glory goes to “man” and none to God in all the so called great things we see done today in the name of Church, Christian Ministries, and Christianity.

  57. Ed on November 25, 2017 at 8:12 am

    So many points and strategies on how to get people churched, and none on meeting the most important needs of humanity, the one for which Jesus came and died (Salvation of sinners). No wonder most of the big and so called growing churches are spiritually dead and void of genuine Biblical teachings and conduct.

  58. […] I outlined here, wise leaders have stopped trying to attract people and started trying […]

  59. Ralph Mattey on October 12, 2017 at 7:02 pm


    • James omoduku on October 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      Keep telling others about Christ and make sure that have notting to do wit fornication.

      God bless you and remain blessed. Amen

  60. Pastor Joseph Coffie on September 13, 2017 at 7:19 am

    I want a Christian group either by WhatsApp or any form of social media that will help me to increase and also help in reaching the lost sheep. You can contact me on +233245062147

  61. Rev. Deborah Akogwu on August 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Your article is inspirational. I like it

  62. […] these small points in mind, there is no way you will not be able to increase iyour congregation with a religious […]

  63. Kathy Pearse on July 27, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Have there been any changes to the CCD Program.? I’d like to see Joseph continue classes anD make his Confirmation. There are 2 things I have always been interested in doing at/for the church. One thing is to form a group and make quilts for each infant Baptised at our Church. I look at this as a welcome to the Church Family. The other interest that I have is the St. Vincent Society. I’d like to be able to cook a meal for emergency situations as they occur. Karl please let me know about classes for Joseph. Thank you.

  64. […] Growing Weekly Worship attendance […]

  65. […] are 7 ways to get people more engaged in the mission of your church, so they make the move from merely attending church to being the […]

  66. Pst Israel on July 9, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I thank God for this teaching. God bless you

  67. Boniface momanyi. on July 4, 2017 at 12:49 am

    God bless.am ayoung man and I believe my pastor Will be edified.

  68. Dean Ralls on June 3, 2017 at 7:44 am

    I would love to see more detailed information about your kiosk desks (new hear and next steps). Can you provide more details. Great idea.

  69. Nate Gustafson on March 21, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I love the emphasis upon engaging with the mission more than a “show” that takes place when you arrive at church. It’s challenging to consider because I feel our little church has not realized that we need a clear path and clear mission to move forward.

  70. James Martin on January 9, 2017 at 11:54 am

    This is a great post. I’m confused on the 7C headline. How is signing up better than showing up? I feel like that is the opposite of the point of the article which is to get people engaged.

    • Johann W on April 8, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      I was as well. Then I realized by signing up he means those who commit to contributing in service, they didn’t just show up but they moved on to actually saying “this is what I’m committing to do from here on”

  71. David Watson on June 20, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I am a revitalization pastor. My congregation consists of an older group that has been a part of it since the late 1960’s and a newer younger group that we have appealed to with our vision of reaching and impacting the community that we are located in. We have several who feel that their contributions are minimal at best and seriously sell themselves short. I have continued to teach and speak on using what you have been given and its importance. These 7 steps are great but how do I engage the generations that are represented and actually have them work together like I feel the early church did?

  72. Joe Brosious on March 8, 2016 at 10:34 am

    At an old downtown congregation in Madison, WI and we are looking at how we turn the “church of the movers and shakers,” into the church of the Shakers and Movers. Big transition but thanks for all the good materials. We are in the process of redoing many of our spaces to help people engage and connect so your thoughts on language and the actual physical changes you’ve made are very helpful. Your blog is the only one I actually stop what I am doing and read when it comes across.

  73. […] Want to drive more engagement in the mission at your church? Here are 7 ways to do it. […]

  74. Brian Lane on March 7, 2016 at 8:32 am

    I printed this post and hung it on the wall next to my desk as a constant reminder of these things. Good stuff.

  75. Dean Moore on March 6, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    While I agree that Christians need to be engaged in the mission and they need to be hot passionate and fervent towards God with zeal however doing anything for God before they are made true disciples holding the truth of the word of God in purity and true holiness being mature and experienced having the devil under subjection to the authority of the Kingdom of God from within then anything else we try to do is folly. Paul told Timothy never to put people in the place of authority those who are novices. What are novices? They are people who are unskilled and inexperienced in the knowledge of the truth and in handling the meat of the Word of God. Why because the devil would take advantage of their ignorance and weakness because of spiritual immaturity and cause them to fall and bring a reproach against the Gospel. Too much of the church is not following the blueprint of which the Lord has given us to be the church and take the world for the Kingdom of God. If you want to know precisely what that blueprint is contact me.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on March 7, 2016 at 10:50 am

      I love zeal too Dean. Thanks!

    • Howard on July 18, 2017 at 5:12 am


      Such true words and it is hard to find people nowaday’s standing for righteousness and holiness.

      True words!

    • keith newson on October 2, 2017 at 2:06 am

      how can i contact you on that blue print. i think i really need that

      • George Onyango Orwako on February 6, 2020 at 5:06 pm

        Thanks for posting this. I’m a pastor of a young church in Kitale Kenya that faces many challenges but am determined, by the help of God, to see it grow beyond all odds.
        Kindly share with me more on Driving Engagements.
        Shalom and agape.
        George Onyango from Kitale Kenya Africa.

  76. Chris Schoolcraft on March 4, 2016 at 9:46 pm


    I serve in a community in which our youth and children are so involved in school, sports, and extracurricular activities. Could you give a sense of what cultures of engagement might look like where kids and youth have so many things going on?



    • Carey Nieuwhof on March 5, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Your situation sounds like everyone else’s. Honestly, I’d just work on the suggestions in this post. That’s what we’re doing and it’s working despite hockey, baseball, football, dance, skiing, the beach etc.

  77. Luke on February 29, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Carey, (re #3)
    I have seen in some churches where various ministry teams or leaders are, as you point out, truly focused on “their” mission and not “the mission.” Yet, even when a church institutes a new vision and mission, what I see then, is that said vision and mission get dropped onto the ministry teams but sadly, people incorrectly begin to believe that those same teams are somehow now magically focused on “the” mission. My question is, how do you kindly convince them to see that they are still really just focused on “their” mission and then explain how “the” mission is actually really different from what they believe and are doing?

    I have tried to use words like “alignment” and phrases like “unified strategy” to explain the difference between a segregated “their” mission vs “the” mission, but because the vision and mission have been integrated into the language of the segregated ministry teams, many people think that means their church is now aligned and has unity under that vision and mission. And they can’t see it. Thoughts?



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