Jump directly to the Content

Four Principles for Membership Retention

Closing the back door with a four-legged stool.
Four Principles for Membership Retention

In almost every consultation I conduct through my company, the Rainer Group, and in almost every church I research, the issue of assimilation arises. "If we could just keep the people who join our church, our attendance would be twice as high," church leaders often lament. Is there a "secret" to retention? Is there some type of process that can close the back door?

While there is neither a secret nor a neatly-packaged process, there are four key principles to membership retention and involvement. Our research has shown that if a church improves in all four of these areas, assimilation will likely improve, and often dramatically improve.

Many times when I speak I am given a stool upon which to sit. Since I usually speak for a lengthy time, I appreciate a stool where I give my fallen arches an occasional break. These wooden stools have four legs. Most of the time the legs are balanced and even. Sometimes one leg is off balance, causing a wobbly stool. But if any one of ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

September
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Four Philadelphia Churches
Four Philadelphia Churches
It's not church polity and ecclesiology that make churches work. A caring mood, a Spirit-led harmony of purpose, and a spontaneous outreach to the needy world develop unity out of diversity.
From the Magazine
How Americans Got Away with Abortion Before ‘Roe v. Wade’
How Americans Got Away with Abortion Before ‘Roe v. Wade’
Looking ahead, Christians should focus less on enforcement than on changing cultural attitudes.
Editor's Pick
Rebuilding Church Community: What’s Actually Working?
Rebuilding Church Community: What’s Actually Working?
Pastors respond.
close