How can numbers be useful in understanding a church?
Numbers are one piece of information in an evaluation of a church congregation's health. It is not the only piece of needed information. However, statistical data can be easily measured and analyzed and can help form a realistic picture. So, don't ignore available statistical data in trying to understand the state of a local church.
Construct a graph of at least 10 years of your church's attendance and membership statistics. Why ten years? Well, that will help you see long-term patterns. With the graphs in hand, ask questions. Lots of questions. Look for answers to the following:
Sample graph analysis
-- Howard Culbertson
Church Growth course resources: Course home page Church analysis Assimilation analysis Leadership survey Programs survey Church planting steps Conversion age Devotional reflections Exam study guides Identifying receptive people PowerPoint presentations used in class Why pastors resign Testing contextualization Case study: When trust in a pastor erodes