Retention in Our Church

Retention in Our Church
Steve Davis

Why is retention important?
* Strong retention provides continuity.
* Retention provides for the development leaders.
* A strong membership base allows our church to meet the service needs of our community.

Why are fellowship activities so important*
* Fellowship activities promote unity, friendship and good relations among church members.
* Fellowship motivates members to remain active and fosters cooperation on church activities and projects.
* Fellowship is where clear role models are found, and examples to follow are discovered.
* In fellowship, Jesus is made known among us, for wherever two or more are gathered together in His name, He is there in the midst of them.

What can we do to stimulate and improve fellowship in our church*
* Encourage members to wear name badges at meetings to make introductions easier.
* Rotate seating arrangements at social events, where name tents are on the tables, to break up groups and ensure that members get to know each other.
* Appoint a Host or Hostess at each table during fellowship or social events to promote fellowship.
* Circulate a letter at the beginning of the year asking members to advise the Membership Caring and Retention Ministry of important dates, such as birthdays and anniversaries.
* Use the church bulletin to publish news about members and social events.
* Appoint a different member each week to introduce special music and musicians, to make announcements – to involve all members in the weekly program.
* Plan events that include members families who don t regularly attend.
* Fellowship is one of the primary reasons people join a church. So we strive to promote fellowship at every meeting, not just at one or two events a year.
* Greeting guests, looking after new members, and broadening contacts within the community are all activities that can improve fellowship.

What are the elements of our church s new member orientation program*
Key points
Benefits of membership
Responsibilities of membership
Opportunities for service
Purpose, history, and mission
Involvement and connection of new members

How can each church member help integrate new members into the church*
* Make an effort to become acquainted with each new member.
* Personally invite new members to join a committee or project.
* Assign a mentor to the new member.
* Ask the new member to serve as a greeter at a church meeting so that he/she meets everyone in the church.

How can our church involve new members in church life*
* Invite new members to be on a committee
* Ask new members to present at a committee meeting
* Allow opportunities for new members to give feedback to church leaders
* Invite new members to participate in organizing a project
The demands of work and family can make it difficult for individuals to balance volunteer service with other commitments.
Involving the family in your church or ministry can often help church members integrate volunteer commitments into their lives and increase retention rates.

How can we involve the family in your church or ministry*
* Invite spouses of Members to come to social functions, activities, get involved in projects.
* Encourage family attendance at special church events.
* Encourage family involvement in service projects.
* Invite spouses of deceased members to church and special events.
* Involve children of Members in church activities.
* Make church involvement a family tradition.

What lesson can the church learn when a member leaves the church*
* Some churches conduct exit interviews to find out why a member is leaving the church. The results can be a valuable addition to a membership retention
* The Pastors have a great deal of influence among the Members in our church, yet they cannot manage everything themselves.
* Members who feel involved in their church are more likely to remain members and have a positive attitude toward their experiences as members of our church,

Ideas for Membership Retention
1. Invite every Member to become personally involved in church projects and
2. Encourage church-wide participation in community service projects
3. Conduct weekly programs that are relevant and meaningful to members.
4. Explain to members how projects are relevant and effective.
5. Use surveys to identify what is important to your membership; give a
voice to every Member in our church.
6. Conduct a minimum of four church programs per year that address issues
related to increased serving and leading others.
7. Include membership items in the church bulletin.

Why is recognition important*
* Encourages Members to continue serving and contributing
* Thanks members for their work
* Motivates others to serve and contribute
* Serves as a sign of appreciation for commitment to a cause greater than personal gain
* Provides positive feedback to Members devoted to serving their community and communities around the world

Recognition programs can be an outstanding way to motivate Members in our church. We need to develop various awards and citations.
* Membership Recruitment Award
* Citation for Meritorious Service
* Distinguished Service Award
What else*

How can we promote service awards and recognition*
* Discuss award and recognition programs at committee meetings.
* Incorporate appropriate recognition of members who serve in an outstanding manner into church activities.
* Develop church-level awards that recognize excellence in all aspects of community and international service.

A Guide to Membership Retention
* Give new members a worksheet outlining the many opportunities to gain knowledge about your church or ministry and become involved in church activities. The potential new member s mentor should deliver the worksheet and provide guidance on completing each step.
* Provide several opportunities for potential members to comment on a wide range of issues, including the process and results of the orientation program itself.
* Effective feedback includes a mechanism for reporting comments to the church board, the Pastor, Assistant Pastor and your church or ministry’s denominational HQ as appropriate.
* Consider periodic meetings between new members and the denominational leadership, along with new member forums (facilitated by the Pastor).
* Consider scheduling the formal orientation programs in several sessions to enhance retention of information.
Induct new members in a dignified and meaningful manner. Use the induction ceremony as an opportunity to underscore the benefits and responsibilities of being a Member. A new member should be provided with the following items:
* The church lapel pin
* Membership identification card
* Copy of the church bulletin
* Directory
* Latest Southern Methodist magazine
* Presentation Bible
* List of meetings and functions for make-up meetings
* Church name badge
* A history of the church
* A Certificate of Membership

If possible, invite family members to attend. During the ceremony, new members might give a five-minute talk about themselves, their lives and their families. However you decide to conduct it, make the induction ceremony special. It should imprint on the new member an enthusiasm for membership.
Educate the Member. Some members resign from their churches because they feel uninformed or uninvolved. Educate church members so they have enough knowledge to take the initiative and become more active.
New members can acquire a church education in two ways self-education and continuing education established by the church;

Involve the Member in church committees, church fundraisers, board meetings, church meetings, and church social activities. It is a very unfortunate occurrence to receive a letter of resignation from a member who didn t feel a part of the church.

from: web site. April 2015.

The above article, Retention in Our Church was written by Steve Davis. The article was excerpted from

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.