9 Numbers That Indicate Healthy Church Growth

You are a lead pastor. You primarily occupy your time with casting vision, teaching Scripture, and leading your staff. But did you also know that you have a responsibility to play The Numbers Game?

If people matter to you, then numbers should too. Why? Because numbers are indicators that help leaders challenge or validate what they know to be true.

It’s more than measuring attendance and giving. It’s about leveraging every strategy, process, tool, and leadership position necessary to make sure no one falls through the cracks.

The Numbers Game—when properly measured and tracked—offers you valuable intelligence about the health and vitality of every facet of your church’s community-building efforts:

  1. Attendance. Tracking small group and event attendance is equally important, and it’s recommended that you track the faces who show up, not just the total numbers.
  2. Volunteers. By connecting volunteering to other factors like attendance, giving, serving, and leading, you’ll find those who volunteer tend to be more engaged overall.
  3. Missional Participation. Who is getting involved and who isn’t? Who has expressed a desire in missions but hasn’t participated?
  4. Online Activity. Where are people spending their time on your church’s website, and how are they using your site? This is vital to your overall Web strategy.
  5. Financial Giving. What does your church’s giving report tell you about growth? Watch for dramatic variances in giving over time. It is a sign of spiritual activity …or inactivity.
  6. Event Outcomes. It is necessary to connect every event to life change. What happened as a result of your investment of time, energy, and resources into an event.
  7. Assimilation. We typically push people through our one-hour new members class and then tell them to call us if they need us. How can we be sure no one falls through the cracks? How do our members behave differently than our attendees?
  8. Growth. Where is growth taking place? What age groups? What ministries? Why? This is important for future resource investment planning.
  9. Attrition. Why are people leaving your church? Speculation isn’t a good idea. We need to be asking and recording what we learn. While this might uncover painful experiences, it can lead to some very critical changes we might not have ever considered before.

Retention is a numbers game—and one you don’t want to lose. It isn’t about keeping people from leaving by external means or manipulation. It’s better than that. Retention is about engaging people in community to create meaningful relationships and to ensure people stick.

For a detailed look at how to measure and improve each of these numbers in your church, check out our eBook, “The Numbers Game: 9 Measurements that Will Increase Your Church’s Retention Factor.”

How many of these numbers does your church measure as a way to monitor and improve your retention strategy and grow your church in a healthy way?

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What say you? Leave a comment!

Adam B. Embry — 12/09/14 3:29 pm

Helpful metrics! Would you happen to know what the average number of website visits and average time spent on a church website would define a healthy church?

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
— Scott Michael Whitley

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