I keep a record of our attendance, dating back to our first year together (2012).

I break it down so that I can follow the trendline, not only year-to-year, but also month-to-month, holiday-to-holiday, etc.

I like to observe the pattern and figure out which Sundays each year usually have more visitors and which will be more “just the family” and then plan my sermons accordingly.

What’s interesting is that every year, without fail, we have had a drop in attendance between the second and third Sundays of May. Now of course, the second Sunday or May is Mother’s Day, and no matter what there’s always going to be a segment of the audience that comes only on holidays like that. Naturally the attendance is going to spike on that Sunday; I get that. But what I can’t understand is why the attendance drops on the next Sunday below the yearly average.

You see, while I’m keeping record of the attendance each week, I’m also recording the average attendance (for each month, quarter, and year). For example, in 2012 our average attendance was 67. On Mothers Day we had 70 but one week later we only had 55. In 2013, our average was 80. On Mothers Day we had exactly that, but the week after we had 75. In 2014 the average was 100. On Mothers Day we had 110, but the next week only 80. In 2015 the average was 103. On Mothers Day we had 105 and then the next week was a drop to 85. Last year our average was 106. Mothers Day saw a crowd of 107 but the next week it was only 97.

Isn’t that odd? Every year it’s the same story. And since the attendance is always less than our average that means it’s not just the once or twice a year crowd that’s missing; it’s our regular crowd too. Where’s everyone going on the week after Mothers Day?

These are the questions that keep preachers up at night. And I know, and I’ve been told by old preachers “don’t watch the attendance numbers.” I understand that. But I can’t help it, the board has big bold white numbers on it!

On Mothers Day last week our attendance was 110. This year I’m challenging our members to break the streak.  I talk a lot about inviting friends and family to worship with us, and it’s paid off (we’ve grown every year since 2012), and I always say that we should look for excuses to invite people. Be it a special meal after worship, or a special Sunday event, or something that gives a sense of urgency to the invite. But this time we have no special event. This Sunday is just like any other.

That means we’re going to be doing what we do every Sunday. We’re going to be doing the best thing there is to do. We’re going to be singing, praying, studying and growing together as a Christian family. Let’s break the trend and let’s have a big turn out this Lord’s Day!