A growing trend among evangelical pastors is to focus on their attendance numbers. Many have even joked about pastoral counting, which basically means that pastors inflate numbers to make their ministry look larger. We all know that our society has become enthralled with the notion that bigger is better. Unfortunately, in ministry we have also at times fallen victim to this mindset.
What can the numbers do for us though? While counting people to boost your ministry ego is not the point, keeping an accurate count of crucial benchmarks can allow pastors and church leaders to effectively gauge their ministries’ effectiveness.
The opposite extreme is also just as dangerous. Not keeping track of crucial metrics or ignoring poor counts can cause just as many problems as over-exaggerating the numbers. A pastor that says he is not concerned about numbers is either so in touch with the congregation that he understands the pulse, or he is ignoring the facts. Having an accurate reading on key metrics will help a pastor get an idea of the effectiveness of his ministry and outreach.
Some key metrics to keep in mind:
1. Worship Attendance – this may be the most obvious of the things to count, but watching trends in attendance can help church leaders really get an accurate picture of the congregation. These numbers can be tallied and evaluated against local events, holidays, vacation seasons, etc. to get a real picture of whether the ministry is growing bigger or smaller.
2. Sunday School/ Small Group Attendance – having effective small groups is the best way to grow disciples. Churches with growing Small Group Ministries will quickly find themselves a healthier church growing and duplicating themselves.
3. Giving per Person – This number can be found by taking the total weekly giving amount and dividing by the giving units. This number is not an exact figure but rather an approximation but provides an idea for financial forecasting as well as whether the church has healthy givers.
Each of these metrics are just a small part of accurately measuring ministry effectiveness. For more information on how to accurately measure your church’s health, shoot us an email and we’ll help you out.
What numbers are you using to get an accurate picture of your church?