This year our goal for Next Gen was to grow 20% and that is what we’ve been able to do. From August through September, we have had the highest kids attendance… EVER. However, October came and our numbers have been in the toilet. Two Sundays ago it was a very wet and rainy day which often affects our attendance, but this last Sunday was a beautiful day and numbers were low… like summer low.
I’m going to be looking at some trends from the past four years (since I’ve not been here long enough to have the history). However, I do know that the flu bug has been vicious here. H1N1 has ravaged the state of Texas and there are a couple other flu strains that have been affecting our families. We’ve even had to change our well child policy this fall (we ask kids not to come if anyone in their family has had the flu that week) since H1N1 is contagious even before you know you have it. So although we usually experience a little bit of a decline in October and November, we usually don’t see our numbers take this big of a hit.
Has anyone else had a noticeable attendance dip that was out of the ordinary (especially if you’re in Texas)? Let me know as this seems to be the best way gather information from others. Feel free to post as comments or email me privately at email@example.com.
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Kenny – I think your flu suspicions are probably a good guess at what’s tanking attendance.
We’ve been doing follow up calls with families who’ve been out – and parents are doing what we ask them to do… they’re keeping sick kids home.
In relation to adult worship attendance, we’re actually seeing substantial growth continuing into this Fall – and, for me, that’s always the number that matters most to me.
For our context, having our program run between 15-20% of our adult attendance has been a good indicator for us that our program is heading in the right direction.
I know, we’re not in TX… but, I thought I’d share my observations.
Shoot me an email if you want hard numbers to work with!
We took a pretty hefty dip too. I’m thinking the flu bug… and fear of the flu bug.
.-= Jared Kennedy´s last blog ..SojournKids: What do we celebrate? =-.
We’ve noticed a very large hit in attendance this October both in our church and in children’s ministry, so it caused us to look back at past Octobers to find that over the past 5 years attendance has gone down substantially (15-20%) during October. We expect it around holidays or even summer but can’t quite figure out what it is about October.
When I ran our October numbers yesterday I was shocked to see how much we’d dropped after a 25% increase last October over the year before. Flu is probably the reason – at least I hoping so as I’ve been using our growth numbers as evidence when requesting more money from the budget committee for 2010!
We’ve taken a HUGE October hit, but recovered well last Sunday. I actually saw an increase after a H1N1 awareness newsletter, emails, and phonetree went out 2 weeks ago.
.-= jonathan´s last blog ..You Contribute Nothing to the Plan of God =-.
We are in Alabama and our attendance hit started in September. Glad to hear it is not just us and praying for this sickness to be gone!
In Ohio, for us the last three weeks have been way down.
Thanks everyone, your comments have been very helpful. Anyone else feel free to continue to leave your comments as well. What I want to know more specifically is if you’re experiencing a dip this fall that’s not consistent with attendance patters of previous years at this season.
Yes, our drop in attendance is significantly different than anything we’ve experienced in previous years. Once Labor Day hit, our people disappeared.
We’re been hit with very low numbers too. I’m going to go back and look at what has happened in past Octobers, but I know we’ve had the lowest months in attendance AND giving since we moved into our building a little over a year ago.
Our worship service attendance has tanked during October but our Children’s Ministry attendance has held pretty steady, even showing some increase. The flu has been pretty widespread, paretns are doing what we are asking about sick kids, but we are reaching new families with kids that is making up for the sick ones.