Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Carlos V. Guzman
Purpose: Christian churches in American continue to struggle to maintain membership. This project is a combination research paper and contextual project that uses research gathered in the field to help evaluate the reality of what has taken place in membership and retention in this context. As such, this project aims to explore ministry practices that attract and retain church membership in Christian churches as perceived by active church leaders in the church.
Methodology: This qualitative phenomenological study explores the practices that support membership and retention in Christian churches from the stakeholders’ perspective. The project examines the lived experiences of licensed and/or ordained pastors, ministers, and Auxiliary leaders at two established Grace Church International, Inc. church affiliates in the Southern California District; Grace Church, Spring Valley, California and Grace Harvest Church, Panorama City, California through a series of voluntarily focus group meetings.
Findings: The findings in this study provide the results of the lived experiences of the licensed and/or ordained pastors, ministers, and auxiliary leaders at their respective churches that were perceived to attract and retain church membership. The data being presented represents the results of all the coded focus group meetings, observations, and artifacts that were collected. The findings relate to the research questions used in the study.
Conclusions: This study considered the lived experiences of the study participants that attract and retain church membership. Based on the findings of this study as supported by the literature, it is concluded that of greatest importance to attract and retain church members of all participants were relationship building, prayer, assimilation, and hospitality (friendliness).
Recommendations: It is important that church leaders understand how the aforementioned factors affect membership and retention in Christian churches to help us to better comprehend the context of membership and retention in Christian faith organizations. It is equally important to help church leaders build successful strategies for their congregations that have been demonstrated and implemented in successful churches. Therefore, the researcher suggests that church leaders implement practices to address the four previously mentioned factors in their church to attract and retain church members.
Corley, Anderson, "Factors Associated with Attracting and Retaining Church Membership: A Phenomenological Study" (2018). Dissertations. 155.