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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COMMENTS

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?

Recent Comments
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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