How to Measure Your Church's Health in 2022

Posted by Aaron Buer on November 18, 2021

If your church is like most, you’ve probably been trying to determine the health of your church right now.

You compare your attendance to last week. You compare your attendance to last year. You talk about the percentage of your people in-person and online. But it doesn’t seem to really answer whether your church is healthy or not.

One of the best ways I’ve found to answer the “how are we doing” question is to measure engagement from your congregation.

The reason I like engagement is because the goal of a church is discipleship.

Attendance doesn’t measure discipleship perfectly, but a person who’s fully engaged with your church is most likely being discipled.

Because of this, I think it’s more helpful to measure engagement as a church health metric.  

That being said, what engagement looks like is different in each church.

For example, it might involve a confirmation class in one church and participating in a small group in another church.

I’d like to share how we measure engagement in our church and hopefully, this post will help you refine how you look to measure health in your church in 2022.  

The first step is deciding what an engaged person looks like.

In my church, we have decided an engaged person is someone who is attending, grouping, serving, and giving.

Let me break each of these down for you.

Attending

This is the most common number churches focus on.

Right now, I would be cautious about placing too much weight on this number, especially if you find your attendance numbers discouraging.  

We still don’t fully know how COVID has changed—and continues to change—how people attend church.

Perhaps a better question to ask right now is, “how often are people attending?”

My theory is most people are attending church less often than they used to.

In other words, most of the people who called your church home before COVID still call your church home but they attend far less than they used to.

Grouping

Yes, it’s a weird word.

I’m not even sure it’s actually a word, but it’s the word we use.

Why? Because for us, a fully engaged person is someone who is actively involved in community and participating in fellowship.

We are a large church so we utilize small groups as a strategy to break down our size in a way that facilitates fellowship and community.  

For us, a fully engaged person is not only someone who shows up at our weekend services but also participates in a small group of some sort on a regular basis.  

A few of our key measurables are:

  • What % of the overall congregation is actively participating in a small group?  
  • What % of each campus is actively participating in a small group?
  • What % of each ministry is actively participating in a small group?  

If you’re wondering, we measure the number of people actively involved in a small group against our average adult attendance.

We don’t include kids and students because that feels like cheating.

Why? Because every child/teen who shows up to our kids ministry or student ministry is automatically placed in a small group.

Maybe your church doesn’t utilize small groups. That’s completely fine.

How does your church measure community and fellowship?

Whatever strategy your church is employing to achieve community and fellowship, that’s what you want to measure.

Serving

Another way we measure full engagement is through serving.

We believe a person who is growing as a disciple is someone who serves others.

Again, we measure the number of people who are actively serving against our average adult attendance.

One thing to consider is you need to determine what is “actively serving.”

Does that mean at least once a month, at least 2x a month?

That’s something your church will have to decide.  

In addition, does serving outside the walls of your church count?

It probably does, but how do you find out if and how often people are serving outside your church?

For the sake of simplicity, we keep our measurement to people serving in the ministries of our church.

Giving

A strong indicator of church commitment is a person’s willingness to financially support their church and its mission.

I believe giving is a strong measure of engagement.  

There are lots of ways to measure giving, some more helpful than others—how often, how much, through the offering basket or online? And, of course, how much was given overall last weekend?

If the question is, “how are we doing as a church,” a good baseline might be the percentage of the congregation that has given a gift over the last six months.

This gives you an indication of engagement.

Wrap Up

If you want to measure engagement, I would encourage you to first decide what a fully engaged person looks like and then begin to measure those categories.  

In addition, it might be helpful to measure what percentage of your congregation is fully engaged.

For us, that would mean, what percentage of our overall congregation is grouping, serving, and giving?

You may be asking, “what about attending?”

Well, we don’t have a good way to measure attendance other than the overall number so we just assume that people who are grouping, serving, and giving are attending regularly.

Once you have some baseline statistics, set a goal and build a strategy around growing your engagement measurements.

We have found this to be a helpful strategy in growing discipleship in our congregation.

Topics: Advice

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