A few weeks ago, in a blog post entitled Groups consistency, I talked about using attendance as a sign that points to faithfulness. And faithfulness is a pre-requisite character quality for choosing leaders who multiply the ministry. (2 Timothy 2:2)
In the same way, attendance is a sign for pastors and church staff that something may be going on in a person's life they are called to shepherd.A few years ago, Barna research, identified these top 5 reasons millenials stop attending church:
- Irrelevant to their lives
- Moral failures of leaders
- God is missing there
- Legitimate doubt is prohibited
If I were to boil these down to a single idea, it would be a lack of trust. Lack of trust in the leaders, community, and the message they are presenting.
How do you build or rebuild trust? Incarnation. Literally, taking on flesh. Becoming one of them. Humility, transparency, authenticity. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. So, put on flesh, live with and care for people. Consistently, over time. This builds trust.
Many churches we interact with do this by reaching out to people who stop attending after 3-5 times. As a database for churches, Churchteams can help you consistently execute a strategy to provide care like this using reports. Here's how to put the system together:
- Reports > Members > Member Listing
- Select the information you want to see. Mobile number, email, current group membership for example.
- Filters > Groups > Group Involvement > People In Groups
- Select the groups or ministry area(s) people belong to that you are wanting the report on.
- Filters > Groups > Attendance Filters > Attendance filter 1.
- To see everyone who did NOT attend, select the Did Not option, the last 5 weeks date range, and the same groups or ministry areas(s). This will include everyone who has missed 5 or more weeks.
- (Optional) To see everyone who missed the last 5 weeks but attended 6 weeks ago, add Attendance filter #2 and choose Did, then 1 to 2 times and the date range of 6 weeks ago, plus the same groups or ministry area(s).
- Run the report to review it.
- Save the report. Use Last X weeks and 5 to make the date range dynamic to cover the last 5 weeks for Attendance filter #1. Use 6 for filter #2.
- Reports > Schedule Reports. If you want to see this list every Monday, then schedule it for Mondays at 7 a.m. for instance. This report will email me the list of people who've not attended small group for the last 5 weeks every Monday morning.
It might take a little time to build out this full system, but once you do and you determine the right way to respond to and follow up with people, you'll reap the rewards of a shepherding job well done.