Insights about a church's health from numerical data

Graph showing growth over time

What can statistics tell us about a congregation?

Numbers cannot tell the whole story about an organization such as a church congregation. However, numbers are one piece of information in an evaluation of a church's health. It is not the only piece of needed information. Still, 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 health 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. As you look at numbers, look for answers to the following:

  1. What circumstances, events, or factors may have contributed to:
    1. High points?
    2. Valleys?
    3. The present trend?
  2. At the moment, what things are likely fostering health and driving growth in our church?
  3. What needs to happen to stimulate further outreach and assimilation?
  4. What is unique and appealing about our church's congregation, ministry activities, and facilities?
  5. What kinds of human needs are being met by the ministries of our church?
  6. What bridges does the church have that facilitate people moving into Sunday School classes, small groups, and other ministries after they have begun attending worship events? [ More: "Incorporation and assimilation".

Sample graph analysis

    -- Howard Culbertson,,


Statistical data can be a valuable tool for church leaders to gain insights into their congregations, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions about how to foster the spiritual growth and well-being of church members. It is, therefore, important for leaders to approach data analysis with humility, sensitivity, and a commitment to serving the needs of the congregation with compassion and empathy.

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