By Ken Blue
Some churches have little trouble gaining members. They are diligently spreading the gospel, and people are obedient to the Lord. However, most churches have trouble keeping members. They lose them about as fast as they get them.
It is a fact that many churches cannot break the “75 barrier” or the “200 barrier”. Both barriers are related to “group dynamics” (principles that affect people’s ability to relate to one another in a particular group). The problem basically boils down to this: growth does not continue, because people are not being assimilated into the “family life” of the congregation. Some pastors do not really care about church growth, being happy to maintain the “status quo”. The solution to the “revolving door syndrome” actually has several different elements. The key is the involvement of every member.
We cannot over emphasize the importance of every member getting involved in some ministry of the church. If you want the church to become more important to the member, he or she must become involved. This means the church must have an unlimited list of ministries where members can serve. If you can maintain a high level of involvement, the dropout rate will be lower.
A church must increase its ministries in order to grow. I observed one church that had a ministry list of four, one was the missions program, and the other was their Christian day school. This shows a lack of understanding or a lack of vision.
Every church should make a list of ministries where members can participate, and that list must be adequately communicated to the congregation. The church should then double or triple the list. In addition, there must be a strategy and plan as to how each person will be recruited and installed in a ministry.
Remember, everyone wants to be an important part of an important organization. Also, the old saying, “use me or loose me” is not that old. If you want to shut down the revolving door, you must provide important places for important people to serve. Those places must be important to them.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.