I am an avid sports fan. My favorite sport is basketball, and it is clear to measure success in basketball. It is clear in all sports. You look at the scoreboard and determine who has the most points. You get points by putting the ball in the basket.
That is great and it works for basketball, but how do we measure success in the church world. How do pastors judge if their church is successful or not?
Here are just a few of the measures that we measure regularly to determine if our church is healthy or unhealthy.
The biggest question you should be asking is if lives are being radically changed through the power of the Gospel? If you cannot give a few examples right now of God changing people’s lives in your church, it is probably not too healthy.
You should always be able to give current examples of God transforming a person’s life. How many baptisms have you had in the past year? This is a great measure of the health of your church.
Oh no, I threw out the numbers controversy. Church should not be about numbers, should it? Let me bluntly say, our church is not driven by numbers, but we believe that numbers reveal the health of our church.
Let me ask you a question, “Would you describe your church as healthy if no one showed up?” No, why? Because no one was there.
The reason we all say “its not about the numbers” is because we are afraid to really look at the numbers, because it might reveal that we have not been a very good missional church lately.
The Bible is about numbers. In fact, Jesus counted people, and I believe we should as well, because it can be a measure of how effective we can be. We count people, because people count.
In his blog post entitled “5 Reasons Engagement will Drive Almost All Future Church Growth,” Carey Nieuwhof explains how a future trend of the church will be that engagement will drive attendance. In the past, attendance has drove engagement.
Carey goes on to say that a future goal of the church will be to engage people faster.
This is a healthy measure for church. What percentage of your average attendance are engaged in the mission of the church? How many new volunteers are serving on your team?
This is the ultimate goal. Are we duplicating ourselves in the city and around the world. Are we developing leaders within our church to go and duplicate our church around the world?
Most churches that I observe are not sending churches. They are concerned with their own church, and the idea of multiplication is foreign to them.We must be planting churches around the world.
These are some measures that we look at when evaluating how successful our church is. What would you add to this list?