Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Layman's Suggestions to increase Church attendance

I hope those of you who are cradle-Lutherans, especially those of you who are Lutheran pastors, won't be offended by the following suggestions from a convert-Lutheran on increasing attendance and membership in the Lutheran Church.

1.  Every member of the Lutheran congregation should go out of his or her way to make visitors feel welcome.

2.  Select hymns that are "singable".  Most of us in the congregation are not music-readers.  Agonizing through difficult-to-sing hymns does not support a good worship experience (see my post on "Lutheran Hymns").  I'm not advocating New Age music or "Kumbaya"-style songs.  Lutheran hymns are great.  Just pick the "singable" ones for the congregation.

3.a. Pastors, make your sermons relevant to "me"!  Sermons on the social gospel, the environment, the dangers of over-population may be very important, but the thing that is going to keep people coming back are sermons that are relevant to them as individuals and their personal relationship with God.

  b. Preach to me at my level.  I'm not stupid, but I'm not a divinity graduate, either.  I'm not going to understand big, theological terms and concepts.  Preach like you are preaching just to me.

  c.  Put some passion into your sermons!  If you are excited about it, there is a better chance that I will be too.

4.  Don't try to imitate the non-denominational, evangelical church down the street.  I've already been there.  I'm at a Lutheran church because I want something different.  Don't disappoint me with a forced, second-rate, evangelical substitute.

5.  Lutheran liturgy is beautiful.  Be passionate about it.

6.  Lutheranism should not just be a Sunday morning experience.  People, families, are more likely to stay in the Lutheran Church if Lutheranism is a major part of their day-to-day lives.  Encourage youth activities, women's groups, men's groups, college groups, church sports teams, church festivals, church dances, etc.  The more Lutheranism is in our lives, the more likely we and our children will be to remain Lutheran.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool! I feel the same about not trying to imitate non-denominational churches. They don't do anything for me.

    ReplyDelete

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