There's one thing we could probably all agree on: Attendance and Giving measurements are a great place to start but a terrible place to stop! Attendance and giving numbers alone do not ensure health! I know large unhealthy churches and small healthy ones. I know unhealthy ministries who have lots of money in the bank and healthy ministries that have very little means.
So...how much should we care about the numbers?
Here's the good news: There are a whole series of systems measurements up under the hood that can help us monitor our church’s effectiveness in evangelism, discipleship, stewardship, and mission!
I believe every church ought to maintain a dashboard with many of the following.
# Actively serving vs # actively serving one year ago
% Serving vs % serving one year ago
# participating in Small Groups vs one year ago
% participating vs % participating one year ago
% of leaders retained from last year in each ministry
Baptisms as a % of attendance
Per capita giving: Total weekly giving / Total Attendance
(This measures the true generosity level of our church on an individual and can be monitored over time to let us know if we are truly becoming a more generous people over time).
How many have we sent out on mission? We should break this down into our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and then the ends of the earth.
How many people have indicated they invited someone to church this year? You could place a question about this on your Communication/Connection card and keep a count each year to monitor the evangelistic temperature in the church.
#Additions Through Multiplication This Year
I love including the collective number of people reached though planting churches, launching sites, etc.