When a pastor says “we count people because people count” and “numbers matter because every number is a person,” I agree.
Everyone in a church service, a discipleship class or a small group is a person for whom Jesus died. And knowing how many of them are in the room is a vital first step in ministering to them.
But it’s just a first step.
Every healthy church knows this, both large and small. But when we’re constantly bombarded with the importance of numerical growth, it can be easy to forget that attendance figures are only the first – and often the least helpful – step in determining how well we’re meeting people’s needs and challenging them into a deeper walk with Jesus.
As important as it is to keep accurate records, there are three big problems with allowing attendance figures to become a primary determiner of effective ministry.