Most churches want to reach people, spread the Gospel, and to grow.

So why is it that new people aren't showing up to your church like you hope and pray?

Here are seven possible reasons:

#1 – Your church isn't for them.

I know you think everyone is welcome at your church, but your service, environment, and people might communicate otherwise. Saying that you're welcoming doesn't mean that you're welcoming. Beating back the insider mentality is tough work, but if you want to reach people, you’ve got to choose the right approach.

#2 – You don't expect guests.

Maybe you're not ready to receive guests, because deep down, you don't expect them. There’s a big difference between being open to guests and preparing for them. Churches that reach new people have an attitude of expectation. They know every Sunday could be someone’s first Sunday.

#3 – You don't acknowledge guests.

When new people show up, they aren't welcomed. In your preaching, you reference Bible stories assuming everyone knows what you are talking about. In discussing church business, you act like new people aren't in the room. If you want to reach guests, you can’t ignore them in your communication.

Here are four ways to make guests feel welcomed.

#4 – They haven't been invited.

Personal invitations are the top reason new people visit a church, but you're not challenging (or equipping!) your people to invite. Make it easier for your people to invite. Give them tools, not just inspiration.

Here are 19 ways you can encourage your church to invite.

#5 – You don't advertise.

Advertising isn’t evil. There are strategic things you can do to get new people to come to church. Whether you choose traditional forms of advertising or try content marketing, focus on getting the word out and inviting people to church.  A personal invitation will be always be the most effective way new people hear about your church, but advertising makes those personal invitations more frequent and effective.

#6 – You're not talking about what they care about.

You're talking about Bible stuff, church stuff, and Christian stuff, not the struggles people face everyday. Maybe you've let the fear “watering down the Gospel” keep you from talking practically. But if you want to reach guests, you need to make sure you communicate God’s truth in a relevant way.

#7 – There’s no life.

People naturally gravitate to exciting, life-giving, hope-filled environments. So if they're not there, stop blaming the culture. Pray and work to create an environment where life happens. Like John Wesley said, “Catch on fire and others will love to come watch you burn.”