The 7 "Deadly" Days of Preaching

There is a definite pattern to church attendance. Here are the seven Sundays of the year when attendance is lowest.

So, you’re on the launch pad …

Pre-Easter is the most popular time of the year to launch a new church. I’m not sure why it has become so, but more denominations and coaches have bought into the pre-Easter, or Easter Sunday, timeframe to launch.

Obviously, Easter is generally the strongest attendance day of the year. Just as obviously, the weakest day of the year is the Sunday after Easter. What to do?

Statistically, you will lose a significant percentage between launch Sunday and the Sunday following. Fifty percent is not uncommon. What happens to your critical mass if you lose 30-50 percent of your launch attendees and then slide into the lowest attended Sunday of the year?

This is a cross-denominational problem. The Roman Catholic Church has a name for each Sunday of the calendar year. Want to guess what they call the Sunday after Easter? Low Sunday. It was renamed by Pope John Paul II in 2000 to “Divine Mercy Sunday.” That was a good call for JP2. Every pastor in America is praying for Divine mercy on the Sunday after Easter—as soon as his head usher tells him how many folks attended that day. 

There are at least seven such events every year. We call them the seven deadly Sundays. They are the Sundays after: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Super Bowl Sunday and the two time-change Sundays.

Actually, any four day weekend will have the same impact on your attendance. Many states have special days they celebrate. For instance, Utah has “Pioneer Day” on July 24. If it falls on a Monday or Friday, that Sunday is a deadly day. Actually, if you’re planting in Utah, most Sundays will look bleak.

Let me suggest:

First and foremost, keep in mind that God is sovereign in all places and at all times.

Second, come to a settled understanding of critical mass.

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Phil Spry
Phil graduated from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where his major was evangelism. He and his wife, Toni have planted eight new churches. Collective morning attendance is about 7,000 people. Today the Sprys make their home in eastern North Carolina where Phil pastors a another new church. Additionally, Phil is involved in CP consulting, coaching, and conference speaking that specializes in all aspects of new church ministry, with a special emphasis on outreach and marketing. With his Tellstart program Phil has partnered with 900 church plants in 48 U.S. States and Canada.