Post-Attractional Church

Thanks to Lewis Center for Church Leadership for re-posting Robert Schnase’s (updated) 2018 article, ‘5 Practices for Fruitful Congregations in a Post-Attractional Era’.

Schnase asks, ‘Why do we assume that people who do not know our congregation will one day find themselves as a member of our church? Most congregations consciously or unconsciously, operate with attractionanl assumptions. They imagine that a person, couple , or family becomes aware of their church, perhaps through the invitation of friend, an adverstisement on a billboard, or by driving past the sanctuary. Churches then hope that what the new persons hear or see will draw them toward the congregation. They assume that the visitors will share a common interest in the purpose of the church or feel a desire to form an affinity with the church. A yearning to learn, grow spiritually, belong and serve will cause them to visit and will lead them to greater participation. We assume this is the pathway for entry into the church because it matches the experience of many people who currently belong.’

The article continues with ‘Why the attraction model is no longer enough…’; outlines elements of the required ‘significant shift’ in how we think about ministry’; then explores the new five practices, including:

  1. Radical hospitality
  2. Passionate worship
  3. Intentional faith development
  4. Risk-taking mission and service
  5. Extravagant generosity

The Ministry Lab exists as a free consulting service for all member congregations (i.e., subscription members, and all MN UCC, UMC, and PCUSA congregations). We’re here to share ideas, resources, and partnership opportunities as congregations grow into any or all of these different areas in your particular context. Send us an email ( and we’ll get started!

The article concludes with related resource, including the book from which this material is excerpted, Robert Schnase’s Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, Revised and Updated (Abingdon Press, 2018)/

Read the full article here.