It’s an interesting phenomenon in the church how we push back on “numbers” as if it’s unholy to count. We know that God counts. There is literally a book in the Bible called “numbers” and we see the church counting in the book of Acts. Numbers matter to God because they represent people. Now, the hard truth is, that every church counts; they count the offering to the penny. Unfortunately, when they don’t count other things like church attendance, baptisms, salvations, newcomers, volunteers, and small group sign-ups, it speaks to what matters most to them. You measure what matters.
Here are some insights into why you should measure more than just money:
Numbers are Souls
Every time you count a person, you are counting an actual person. A life for whom Christ died. A teacher on a field trip is constantly counting how many kids are on the bus, so they know how many kids are on the bus. When you count people, you are counting actual people. You should know who they are and where they are. They matter to God and they should matter to you.
It’s a Matter of Stewardship
We are responsible for every penny, every minute and every gift that the Lord sends us. When we don’t have accurate measures of the things that matter to us like: who is becoming a disciple, who is getting baptized, who is serving in the church, who is connecting in community, we can’t adequately steward what the Lord gives us. Imagine if someone gave you a million dollars and wanted an account of every investment you made after 12 months, would you give that to them? I’m sure you would. God has given you an investment of other peoples time, treasure and talent to help achieve the Great Commission, can you give a detailed account when He asks for it?
Facts are your Friends
Nobody builds anything significant without the facts. Nobody makes life-altering decisions without consultation or research. How can you make decisions for the future of the church if you don’t know the facts? How do you know if a ministry is effective? How do you know if lives are being transformed? How do you know if you’re accomplishing the mission? Measurements help in determining the next steps.
If you haven’t counted anything other than the offering, you can start today. Count adult and kids attendance, salvations (make sure you have their names), baptisms, newcomers, volunteers, and small group attendance. Compare the count month over month and year over year. This will help you determine the effectiveness of outreaches, advertising, invitational culture, and ministry effectiveness. It will also help you know who’s here and who’s not. You can count in every ministry including youth. Once you have the right attitude, you’ll measure what matters so you can keep reaching people (hint, people are what matter)
We have a great tool for you to measure what matters. You can check it out HERE. If you would like to sign up, email email@example.com.