10 Statistics/Figures Church Leaders Should Know

Below are ten statistics/figures I would want church leaders to know. See how many of them you know about your church:

  1. Worship center seating capacity. Knowing this figure can help you prepare for growth. If you don’t know it, measure the pews and assume 18-24” inches per person.  Or, just count the chairs . . . .
  2. Parking capacity. Where parking is limited, growth is most often limited as well, even if the building has more room for growth. It’s good for leaders to keep an eye on this issue. 
  3. Attendance decline or growth. Sometimes the decline or growth is so slow that few people recognize the trends. Somebody in leadership needs to know reality.
  4. Budget giving shortfall/overage. Not only does this figure give you a snapshot of the church’s giving and spending, but it also helps you to pray as needed regarding finances.
  5. Conversions vs. transfer growth. Church leaders should know whether the church is growing by reaching lost persons or by transferring members—or both. Most “growing” churches are growing primarily by the latter.
  6. Missions giving percentage. This figure helps show whether or not your church has a heart for missions.
  7. Personnel budget percentage. Most of the time, this percentage directly affects how much of the budget remains for actual ministry.
  8. Number of pastors or missionaries called out from the church. Too few church leaders emphasize the task of “calling out the called” today.
  9. Number of unchurched people in the community. Church leaders who have no knowledge of the spiritual state of their community often lead churches that are not outwardly focused.
  10. The church’s statistical goals for this year. I realize that numerical goals can become an idol, but having no goals seldom leads to healthy growth. 

How well did you do? 

7 Comments

  • J. Michael Palmer says:

    Chuck, Thanks for this simple but effective reminder.

  • Cynthia says:

    Excellent concise list, Chuck. When my church campus was devestated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, I used two different “seat capacity” figures for insurance and planning purposes. There was the one-per-24-inch pack ’em in count. Then there was the 30″ comfort seating space that I was told was more the norm of current culture. Taking that number I then subtracted 20% of that seat count to know the maximum comfort level seating per service. The 24 inch calculation in my opinion is fine for Christmas and Easter services and funerals, but for other services visitors might not easily or comfortably find a seat.

  • Rob Pochek says:

    Hey Doc! Great guidance, as usual. Can you remind me the number being used for currently for parking capacity? I have 1.5 people per parking space in my mind, but I’m not confident that is correct. What number are y’all using in consultations?

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