Monthly Attendance: The New Norm?

By Kent E. Fillinger

“Is monthly attendance the new norm?” asked the headline of a recent article by Warren Bird, director of research at Leadership Network. The trend for several years is that regular churchgoers attend less frequently. Bird said his research shows the typical church reaches 1.8 times its average weekly attendance in a month. He said the average doesn’t change much regardless of the size of the church, age of the church, or age of the lead pastor.

Therefore, a typical church can determine how many different people attend each month by multiplying the average weekend worship attendance by 1.8. For example, if a church averages 150 people per week, that means 270 different people typically attend the church in a given month. Here’s the math: 150 x 1.8 = 270. This can vary somewhat from church to church, of course.

Based on my research of Restoration Movement churches, the same multiplier—1.8—is the typical attendance increase a church experiences on Easter weekend. If a church averages 500 weekly, on Easter its attendance will likely be 900. The math: 500 x 1.8 = 900.

 

Kent E. Fillinger serves as president of 3:STRANDS Consulting and director of partnerships with CMF International, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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