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Sheep numbers

There’s one important reason we encourage churches to track metrics to evaluate health, and it’s this:

Numbers start honest conversations.

The numbers don’t have emotions. The numbers don’t have an agenda. The numbers can’t misunderstand each other’s intent or come up with excuses. They are what they are. They don’t lie.

Now, obviously, the numbers don’t tell the whole story of any church’s health. Every church has a story, and a lot of ministry and life-change can’t appear on a spreadsheet. But when we look at the numbers, honest conversations must ensue. Here are some examples of conversations numbers create when we’re helping churches assess their ministry’s health:

  • Why haven’t we baptized more people in the last year?
  • Why is it that so many people visit our church one time but do not return a second time?
  • Our children’s facility is crowded. How will we make room for growth?
  • So, we’re debt-free, now what?
  • Our staff are underpaid. What course of action should we take?
  • We’re over-staffed. How is that affecting our ministry?
  • Why are our small groups thriving while our volunteer teams struggle?

These questions, and dozens of others, spur action. They started with an honest look at the church’s health metrics. For any team to make long-term progress, it must begin with a clear understanding of its starting point.

There’s a time for opinions and gut-checks, and it’s after you’ve been honest about the state of things.

We use this tool as our starting point when a church asks us to help them assess ministry health. We’ve recently opened it up to anyone as an online resource.


It is a 100% online survey for the leadership of the church to complete. This is not a congregational survey; the results are based on church metrics — measurable data rather than the subjective opinions of leaders or members of the congregation.

Because your church’s effectiveness matters, we encourage you to check it out. Our team analyzes your church metrics and provides benchmarks to help you interpret where you are. And, you get a conversation with one of our consultants to talk through your results and help you think through next steps. 

Don’t shy away from numbers. If you don’t know where you are, you won’t pray, plan or act with urgency.

Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations? | Proverbs 27:23-24


Photo Credit: Ariana Prestes

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