It’s up to you as the leader(s) to get courageously honest about your worship service. Perhaps bring in a coach or consultant to help you see what you can’t see.
Don’t worry about perfection; focus on clear progress. The improvements will be noticed, and that will make a big difference.
2) Your overall Sunday experience is not consistent.
It’s possible that beyond your worship service, the full experience from the parking lot to the nursery to ushers, etc., is hit or miss in overall quality. Some weekends are great, some not so good.
Some Sundays it seems like there is vision, drive and energy and other Sundays it seems like business as usual. That kind of inconsistency will hurt your church, and that does not inspire people to invite.
We understand that the church is “open” virtually all the time, we serve people nearly 24/7, but worship services are (usually) only on one or two days a week. Imagine a business that is only open one day a week; they would have to be amazing on that day!
Identify the top needs for improvements and make a simple written plan. For example, let’s say you identify three areas that need improvement. Give each area six weeks of strong and intentional development, and in 18 weeks you and your congregation will notice a dramatic difference!
3) Your church has quietly drifted inward.
Inward drift is hidden in more ways than one. It’s difficult to see because you, the staff, and the volunteers can be working really hard and still be focused inward. This is not intentional, it’s not what you want, but it’s often the reality.
This is most common in churches that are overly busy with too many ministries. It’s also common in loving and friendly churches, but the hidden part is that you are friendly to the people who already attend. It’s not that you don’t want new people, but you don’t make time for them.
This is tough to break out of, but it definitely can be done. It requires a renewed heart for the lost. It also requires new ideas to help you reach people who don’t attend, and new systems to help you connect with guests when they come.
4) They are nervous about what might be said from the stage.
Current culture has everyone on edge. It’s nearly impossible not to offend someone every Sunday.
The margin for error in this highly sensitive time is thin, and nearly guarantees that leaders will say something “wrong,” or not say something that a particular group believes should have been said.
This makes many in the congregation nervous about what “might” be said and therefore they don’t invite unchurched friends.