Measuring church growth is not always easy. It’s certainly not as easy as simply counting heads. Here are fifteen ways your church might evaluate its annual growth.
- # of increases by conversion – How many new believers were reached through the church’s ministry during the last year? In some denominations, this figure is measured by the number of baptisms.
- # of increases by transfer – How many believers joined the church by transferring their membership from another congregation? This growth is not always Great Commission growth, but it’s growth nonetheless.
- # of increases by birth – How many babies born into your church family last year now attend in the nursery? Again, this growth is not Great Commission growth, but it is an increase in numbers.
- # of increases by attenders – How many people now come regularly to your church since last year, though they’ve not officially joined the congregation? This number may include adults, youth, and children.
- # of decreases by death – How many members and attenders passed away during the year?
- # of decreases by transfer – How many members transferred their membership last year? Be particularly aware of those who transferred their membership within driving distance of your church – which may mean that some internal problem has pushed open the church’s “back door.”
- # of decreases by exclusion – How many members did the church remove due to biblical church discipline? Needless to say, this number is almost always quite small.
- # of decreases by reversion – That is, how many members and attenders simply stopped coming? You may or may not know the cause of their departure.
- Increase/decrease in percentage of workers – What percentage of your members and attenders regularly served through the church’s ministries last year?
- Increase/decrease in percentage of givers – What percentage of your members and attenders gave regularly to the church’s work last year? Many churches also evaluate the number of tithers and the per capita giving rate.
- Increase/decrease in percentage of people reading the Bible regularly – How many members and attenders followed a strategic Bible reading plan? Because the Bible is truly the Word of God, we should want to know whether folks are engaging it.
- Increase/decrease in percentage of members and attenders praying regularly – How many members and attenders prayed at least once a day? When folks don’t pray, the church usually lacks the power of God.
- Increase/decrease in percentage of believers sharing the gospel – How many believers in your church told the story of Jesus regularly? In most churches, this number is quite low.
- Increase/decrease in percentage of believers investing in others – How many mentors did the church have last year? The best discipleship strategies include one-to-one work.
- Increase/decrease in percentage of members and attenders going on mission trips – How many members and attenders took a North American or international mission trip last year? Outwardly focused churches encourage and lead their members to do so.
What other evaluative means would you add?