Membership Vs. Attendance: which greater?

My church averages MORE in Sunday attendance than our membership count.
67% (16 votes)
Our church membership is larger than our average Sunday attendance.
8% (2 votes)
Our membership and Sunday attendance numbers are similar.
17% (4 votes)
Our church does not have a membership roll.
4% (1 vote)
Other
4% (1 vote)
Total votes: 24
1702 reads

There are 9 Comments

Ed Vasicek's picture

I have friends who pastor country churches; it is considered a mortal sin to remove anyone from the church membership list, even if they haven't attended for years (but could).  Mainline churches often have a larger membership than attendance.  It is my observation that most fundamental and conservative evangelical churches in non-rural environments tend to have more in attendance than in membership.  I know in our church, we do not emphasize membership.

 

What is your church like in this regard?

"The Midrash Detective"

rogercarlson's picture

I emphasize it....but I have several that have attended for a long time....but have not joined.

 

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

BryanBice's picture

...because our Sun AM attendance average is higher than the membership roll, but SS, Sun PM, and Wed PM attendances are pretty close to the total membership.

Pastor Harold's picture

I'm in the SBC and most churches down here in the south have 3-10 times more members that attenders. That's where we get our 16.4 million members at I guess. Our church worked for three years to fix this, in the end we removed close to 300 members for lack of attendance or unable to locate. For the first time in our history the church has more in attendance than on the roll. 

pvawter's picture

Pretty much ditto to rogercalson's comment above.

Ed Vasicek's picture

Pastor Harold wrote:

I'm in the SBC and most churches down here in the south have 3-10 times more members that attenders. That's where we get our 16.4 million members at I guess. Our church worked for three years to fix this, in the end we removed close to 300 members for lack of attendance or unable to locate. For the first time in our history the church has more in attendance than on the roll. 

 

I personally applaud what you have done.  Good job!

"The Midrash Detective"

DHarry's picture

I'm the youth pastor at an independent Baptist church.  Our policies involving church membership help to keep the church membership "list" fairly accurate and up to date.  A three weeks list basically gives initial warning that a member hasn't been there and that we need to pay special care to visit or touch bases with them.  At the three month point (with no attendance) they are automatically put on the "three month list" which is brought before the church at the next business meeting.  Often, those on this list have moved or are homebound for a specific reason.  There is discretion within the process though...those who are in nursing homes, long term medical issues, off at college...those are not put onto this list.  At the six month point the church then removes them from the membership list at the next business meeting.  Great effort is made to reach those that have chosen not to return and if members leave or move and join another church, their names are removed without the formal process.  

That being said, we probably have more members that we have attenders.  While we do have those that are just attending for a while, most of those end up joining the membership and getting involved in the ministry.  It takes much effort and visiting to keep the membership lists "clean" but it is worth it.  The greatest benefit is that we are able to see a relatively accurate list of those who need to be visited based on not being at church for a few weeks.  

 

Isaiah 64:8  But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

rogercarlson's picture

Our situation is unusual.  We have many that have have attended for over a year that (for a variety of reason) have not joined.  But we also keep a pretty clean membership role too.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Ed Vasicek's picture

rogercarlson wrote:

Our situation is unusual.  We have many that have have attended for over a year that (for a variety of reason) have not joined.  But we also keep a pretty clean membership role too.

 

Nothing unusual there.  We've had people attend here 40 years without joining.  Some believers do not even believe in membership.  From what I've read, baby boomers and the generations after are afraid to commit.  The older folks come to church a few weeks and want to join.  Generational dynamics.

"The Midrash Detective"