This is part of a series of interviews with pastors of churches whose attendance has grown 20% or more in 5 years. We hope this series will be a resource of ideas to help increase worship attendance at your church.
Cypress Lake UMC is located in a mostly residential area of southwest Ft. Myers, Florida. It is one of 9 United Methodist churches in the immediate Ft. Myers area. While it is composed of a largely retired membership, it has over the past 8 years had a growing attendance among younger adults and families with children.
When people are asked why they come to Cypress Lake UMC a number of answers come to the forefront.
- They were invited by a neighbor or a friend. The people of CLUMC are excited to tell about their church and its ministries.
- The church is intentional in its efforts to make young families welcome. The church has a growing ministry with children which features age specific activities on weekday evenings and weekends. Child care is offered at every church event. Bible studies and other events are offered specifically for younger parents such as parent’s night out, Mom’s Bible Studies, etc.
- The church runs a quality pre-school that usually has a waiting list of several hundred students. As parents interact with the school, they meet people from the church and other parents who are members who speak well of the church and encourage them to come as well.
- Community outreach through involvement in a local soup kitchen, food pantry, children’s home, home for unwed mothers, abuse centers, and others. We also do “fun” things such as a pumpkin patch, Trunk-or-Treat, festivals, etc.
- Discipleship/Bible Study groups. Not counting Sunday morning classes, there are usually 8 – 12 study groups held at the church during the course of a week. Some are gender specific, others are mixed; some are short term, others are long term; all of them are seeking to draw people into a closer relationship to Jesus.
- The social needs of members are not overlooked. Fellowship opportunities, dinners, trips, and other such activities give people and guests the opportunity to be with other Christian people in a relaxed setting. That inevitably leads to invitations to attend.
- During the years of growth covered by the study, the church has been served by ministers who have been noted for quality, Bible based sermons that address current needs and issues.
- The offering of different worship styles – traditional and contemporary – all in a relaxed, open, and inviting atmosphere.
- Location, location, location. We have the providential good fortune of being located at the intersection of two major streets in Ft. Myers. We have easy access, good parking, and seek to keep our campus in good appearance.
If one key thing had to be highlighted, hospitality would come to the front. Every effort is made to be a welcoming congregation that seeks to evidence the love of Christ to every person who enters.
Denman Jones, Pastor - mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Church website – http://cypresslakeumc.com