7 Ways to Get More Members Involved

Most of us who lead churches have regular attenders who aren’t involved in the congregation. These folks sometimes frustrate us because we can’t imagine why genuine believers just sit on the sideline. Rather than get frustrated, try this strategy to move them toward involvement:

  1. Pray for more laborers. Jesus taught us to pray this way (Luke 10:2). Frankly, if we’re not at least praying like Jesus commanded, we don’t have much right to complain about uninvolved members. 
  2. Don’t assume that every uninvolved member doesn’t care much about the Lord’s work. That might be the case, but not always. If you assume that everyone doesn’t care, you’ll approach every situation with a critical spirit. That’s not helpful.
  3. Understand that every uninvolved member has a story. Some of these folks have home situations that make it difficult to serve much through the church. Some have served in the past but were wounded – and have not yet dealt with that pain. Some see themselves as unworthy of service. Others really are just lazy and unconcerned. In any case, you need to know their story to know best how to lead them.
  4. Create a clear process to get involved, and tell your congregation how to do it. Then tell them again. And again. Regardless of how many times we tell people how to get involved, they don’t always hear it the first time. And, they can’t hear it well if our process is non-existent or unclear.  
  5. Sponsor a one-time “Membership Re-start Class.” Set up a “re-start” class that openly invites uninvolved members to re-engage, discover their spiritual gifts, and get busy in the church’s work. Make a big deal of the class so folks are actually excited about the possibility.
  6. Plant a new ongoing small group from uninvolved members. Select the strongest leader you can find, and let him or her build the class. Again, I’d be upfront about the purpose when recruiting group members: “I’m building a class to get folks more involved. I’d love to have you join us so all of us can do the Lord’s work more.”
  7. Talk one-on-one with uninvolved members. Pulpit or bulletin announcements seldom move these folks. Personal conversations can, though, especially if the church is ready to follow up.  

What’s worked for your church? Help us learn from each other. 


  • Ask them to fill a service need. As long as the serving opportunity does not require them to do anything, but be attending members, this can really get them going. People need to feel needed. Or I find two or three other people in a similar age, career, or place in life and ask them to invite the uninvolved person to go out with them in outings. Sometimes just doing life with involved church members is what they need to start wanting what they want.

  • Phil says:

    Please take no offense, because none is intended, but it becomes frustrating when a pastor of a small church (and I mean 20 or less…not “100” as some people think small) looks for REAL help in getting church members to become active, there’s always this assumption that we haven’t tried the things like are listed here. I can tell you that I have tried ALL of them in one form or another, & I gotta say, the folks in our church aren’t moving. I mean, seriously, if they aren’t already moving, offering some class or study isn’t going to get them there. I also find it interesting that we cannot just simply call it what it is: LAZINESS, COMPLACENCY, & SELFISHNESS.
    I have prayed, and prayed, and continue to pray diligently for the workers to the harvest. In fact, I purposely pray at 10:02 every day that prayer (for Luke 10:2), have asked the members to also pray at that time, and have asked them if they are, & they can’t/won’t even do that. I have spoken directly to individuals and have had others do so as well, and that still has not motivated. I have given multiple areas for service & involvement over & over & over again, and still no response. We have a church of 20 regular attenders, and realistically only 2 CONSISTENTLY do or show up (and I am one of them).
    So, I guess that, based on this list and others like it, if things are not turning around in our church, then I as the pastor must be the issue because the assumption is if these things are done then things will improve. Well, after 3 years nothing has changed, no growth has occurred and I am finding no real help except lists that tell me I am the problem. So, with that said, perhaps I should take the cue & leave the ministry and find something else to do…because if the list you provided works ( and I keep seeing the same presumptive suggestions elsewhere) & it’s not working for me, then I am apparently the problem. Thank you for helping me make a conclusive decision on a question that has plagued me for some time now.

  • Christoph says:

    “Ask to fill a service need” I was thinking a long time about that statement. Is that really the issue or the total wrong approach? Perhaps a better approach would be to ask these inactive members: What would you change if you had the power to change anything? Recently I made to the pastor a recommendation about something to include during the worship service. He felt that was really outside the box. And sure it would shake up the very rigid order of service. Get people involved in the decision making process and give them “ownership” or they pull back and move to a church they can be involved. Our current church has several of such examples!

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