As church leaders, why do we go to such lengths to track attendance? Many believe it’s because we’re “all about the numbers,” comparing our weekend attendance to other churches. Right?
Sure, having a good handle on your attendance and what it’s doing overtime (growing, staying flat, or declining) is an important part of leading the church. Many things are based on attendance (seating, supplies, classroom capacity, number of programs, etc.).
One of the first steps in any building program is the determination of the amount of space (parking, seats, classrooms, lobby, circulation, etc.) needed in the new facility. Having an accurate measure of attendance historically is key when beginning any kind of building program.
And then there’s parking. How many spaces are needed? Is there enough space to handle the amount of time you’ve planned between services if you offer multiple services on Sunday morning?
These are all good reasons to measure attendance, but so far we’re talking about a “corporate” measure of attendance. An overall “high level” measure that can be done via some type of manual “headcount.” Right?
The overall count of children, students, and adults attending weekend services, special events, etc. is important, but it’s not the “real” reason tracking attendance is so critical to the mission of the church.
The real reason to track attendance in the church is as a measure of each individual’s involvement in the life of the church. It has everything to do with the mission of the church to Go, Baptize, and Teach. It’s about individual life change. In order to do this, a church must measure attendance one person at a time. That’s right! We must measure attendance at an individual level, especially those of us who are leading larger churches.
Enter “the method.” I’ve posted frequently about our excitement related to our Church Management Software, Church Community Builder (CCB). These guys have this nailed! Not only does their application give us the ability to view individual involvement in the life of the church, it provides each individual with access to their own involvement in the life of the church!
Yes. With CCB, each individual has their own profile that includes a summary of their involvement. They see their group involvement, serving activity, event attendance, etc. all on their home screen. In fact, they have their own calendar, showing all of their upcoming involvement in the life of the church.
Now, it’s a matter of developing systems, processes, and methods that help the individual to increase their involvement. What is their next step and how do we, as church staff, help them to take that next step?