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A Bad Economy and Rising Church Attendance

While no one is excited about the reason, this poor economy seems to have caused a spike in church attendance.   I’ve also noticed a rise in the TV audiences for many Christian programs, and even more traffic to many faith-driven websites.  It’s no real surprise that people seek spiritual answers during difficult times.  While I do wish more people honored God when times are good, I’m not complaining that they’re coming back to church – whatever the reason.

I think the bigger question is to pastors and ministry leaders – what are you doing with this gift?  Are you just doing business as usual?  Or are you taking advantage of new people, larger audiences, and more listeners to your message?  This isn’t the time to cruise or run church on autopilot.  Now more than ever is your chance to connect and to make a difference.

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  1. We have noticed a spike in traffic over the first few months of this year, which is driving us to think of ways to introduce people to the site—and most of all to the gospel. This includes fresh content with an eye to "beginners" (the milk) and also article series to keep them coming back. And, of course, we’ve been on our knees praying for insight into reaching those who are in need of spiritual guidance.

  2. Sadly many churches are in the same boat as many businesses.  While attendance may be up, money in the plate, or lack thereof, is causing many (and I do mean many) churches to lay off staff and cut programming.  While some of the churches could use a good restructure plan anyway, it’s sad to know that because of "these times" the very churches that are seeing increase in numbers are now ill equipped to follow through and connect deeply with new guests.

  3. Well, it only goes to prove that it’s tough to minister to someone until they experience a "life change event". This is an opportunity to reach out to hurting people. We’re doing a sermon series "Finances According to the Book". We brought in Dave Ramsey’s group for a one day seminar. We ran about $12k in ads. Radio, direct mail, outdoor. Best response was from radio. We’ve brought in financial experts to teach multi-week classes. We’ve seen people come to Christ thru this outreach effort. We’ve also seen giving increase as we show what God’s Word says about tithing and finances. (First sermon was "Jesus On Money".) 

    A few years ago, when the economy was better (ostensibly), we hired Barna to survey our community. The number one felt need was finances. Now more than ever the opportunity is before us.


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