TOTAL SUNDAY ATTENDANCE
Method Count all adults and children in church on a Sunday, including children not in worship but on the premises in nursery or class.
Purpose & Use Basic measure of activity; tends to be more valuable indicator than Membership. Trends over time matter more than a single Sunday’s count. When correlated with demographic data in service area, metric indicates performance in comparison with prevailing growth or decline. A 10% growth in Sunday attendance looks positive if area has grown, say, 5% over same period, but negative if area growth was 20%.
KEY SUNDAYS ATTENDANCE
Method Count all adults and children in church on key Sundays: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, opening of Fall program.
Purpose & Use Key Sunday vs. normal Sunday indicates rate of participation. (400 on Easter and 150 on regular Sunday suggests a 38% participation rate, a number that can be tracked over time to indicate market penetration.)
MIDWEEK EVENT ATTENDANCE
Method Count all adults and children attending supper, class and/or worship on a standard midweek day.
Purpose & Use Growing congregations emphasize midweek gatherings as community-building and educational time. This metric measures success in reaching people. When correlated with Total Sunday Attendance, metric indicates success in drawing people to midweek event.
SPECIAL EVENT ATTENDANCE
Method Count all adults and children who attend special annual events, such as parish picnic, beach retreat, founders’ day, saint’s day, yardwork day, Thanksgiving supper.
Purpose & Use When measured consistently over time, trends will indicate rising or falling appeal. When correlated with cost of event and staffing required, metric will suggest cost-effectiveness of event.
Method Identify the measurable ways you touch people, such as those cited above but also
- how many receive your newsletter
- how many open it
- how many visit your web site
- how many attend neighborhood gatherings
- how many attend community events like bazaars and fairs
- how many attend concerts and other performances
- how many conduct a financial transaction with the church
Develop a chart that totals up these touches, recognizing that many people will be counted multiple times. You are measuring impact, not bodies, and are tracking trends.
Purpose & Use You want to see your total impact on the community and where that impact takes place. For example, if you have 200 on Sunday, touch 500 in theater performances and 1,000 in your e-letter, then you want to put extra energy in your e-letter. If that total of 1,700 touches compares with a total of 1,000 a year ago, you are having a larger impact. Worship alone is too static a venue. By examining touches, you begin to see how and where impact occurs, how to leverage your resources to have more impact, and where impact leads.