Measuring church growth is not always easy. It’s certainly not as easy as simply counting heads. Plus, the COVID pandemic has thrown everything into chaos. Nevertheless, 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, though we know some haven’t returned since the pandemic started.
- 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?