Attendance and Enrollment – Joined at the Hip

If you are a Bible study group leader, I know you want to see more people attend your group. If you lead your church’s Sunday School ministry (insert the name you call it here!), I know you are concerned about reaching new people and seeing all your groups grow.

If you want to see individual group attendance grow, or you want an increase in your overall Sunday School attendance, you must consider the relationship between attendance and enrollment.  In almost any church, Sunday School attendance is approximately 50% of enrollment.  The same principle works for groups.  A group that has 24 people enrolled will almost surely have 10-12 people in attendance on any given Sunday.  If you want to increase weekly attendance, increase enrollment.

The Connection Between Attendance and Enrollment

I’ve led Sunday School ministries in the past. If my Sunday School averaged 200 people per week and I wanted to set a goal of averaging 240 people, I’d need to enroll at least 80 new people.  80 new people would give the Sunday School an increase of about 40 people (remember, attendance is normally 50% of enrollment).  On a group level, if a Bible study group was averaging 15 people and wanted to have an average attendance of 30 by this time next year, the group would need to enroll 30 new people to have an actual increase of 15 people. These 15 new people, added to the current 15 group members, would give the group its 30 person total.

Pray for God’s blessing and be wise in the way you lead your Sunday School or your Bible study group. Don’t feel bad about setting enrollment goals…after all, numbers represent people (there’s a whole book of the Bible called “Numbers”!).  And remember, one way to increase your attendance is to increase your enrollment.

Simply enrolling someone won’t necessarily increase your attendance, though!  Once a person is enrolled in a group, they must become the target of ministry.  Love them, support them, encourage them, contact them, and get them involved.  Do those things, and you’ll see attendance rise.

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