Sep 16, 2010

The 85% Rule

The 85% rule says that once your room becomes 85% full, then you will stop growing. New people will see how crowded it is and get the perception that there is no room for them.

That new parent will see your preschool room that is packed with 3 year olds and think ,"This is too crowded for my child. They won't get any individual care or attention." They may not say it...but they are thinking it. And that's why they don't come back the next weekend.

Take a look at your auditorium, your parking, your children's rooms. Are they at 85% or more?

If so, you are probably on a plateau. Your growth has slowed down or even come to a standstill. You're not going to reach more kids and families unless you do something to create more available space. If the adult auditorium is 85% or more full, then your children's ministry isn't going to grow. If there is no room in the auditorium for dad and mom, they're not going to bring their child to church.

Couple of options:
1. Build more space which may mean more parking, a larger auditorium,   new children's rooms, etc.
2. Add an additional service
  • Ask key people to commit to attending the new service. Cast vision and let them know they are freeing up a seat for a new person to hear about Jesus.
  • Promote the new service and make it the fun, exciting place to be.
We just lived this out. We were more than 85% full at our prime service at 11:00. This is the service when most of our new guests came. We decided to go with 3 services on Sunday - 9am, 10:30am, 12:12 pm. (we have another one on Sat. at 6 pm)

We really pumped up the 12:12 service. Gave out hundreds of t-shirts that said, "Join me for the 12:12 service. It's the place to be." Last weekend, we had surprise ice cream waiting outside for the 12:12 peeps as they left the service.

Following the 85% rule works. In two weeks, our attendance has jumped with 3,000 more people attending services on weekends. We have room to continue to grow now. Our children's rooms aren't packed out. Parents can walk into a classroom and see a great volunteer to child ratio and plenty of room for their child to experience the class. We have a good spread of attendance among the four services.

Are you plateaued? Take a look at your auditorium, rooms, and parking. It may be the 85% rule that is holding you back from reaching more kids and families for Christ.

 Posted by Dale Hudson

3 comments:

Dale,

I loved this article. I had never actually heard of this rule. It is an interesting perspective. I think many of us never consider these things. We assume people will come, and we can take care of the space issue when it becomes of problem rather than realizing that it may be the space that is preventing the growth. Do you think parents consider this as well when they're dropping their kids off? In other words, if people are looking for a church to attend, do you think over-packed rooms would drive them away? Just curious.

Yes I believe it does.Anytime you get more than 20 three year olds together in one room you are going to have some chaos...even if it is controlled. We do our best to keep classrooms at20 kids or less in Early Childhood. For me,the smaller the attendance per class,the more opportunity you have to connect with kids individually. No matter what your church size...less is more in regards to classrooom capacity.

Great post. Its a good reminder and a good thing to be thinking about.

Thank you.

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