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Real Ministry Insights from Digging A Little Deeper

John Gilman March 26, 2016

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Having an in-depth understanding of your ministry numbers and metrics is key to improving the systems and processes you have in place so you can focus more of your time on improving the experience of your members.

When it comes to numbers, metrics, etc., our mind immediately goes to members, worship attendance, baptisms and guests. All of those key metrics should be housed somewhere, most likely in your church management software, or ChMS. Data is great, but what good is it if you aren’t doing anything with it? What kind of reports are you running on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis? And what kind of systems do you have in place to help you mine the data and understand all of it?

Here are four ways to demonstrate why reporting can help you spend less time in the data and more time being present and more effective in your ministry:

  • Stay Ahead – Lead your church body effectively by focusing on what has and hasn’t worked in the past. Perhaps you can identify new retention strategies or different ways of welcoming new members, maybe even new service times. All churches vary in their thought processes, so use reports to your advantage to see what works for you and your members. If certain things haven’t worked in the past, cut them out. Don’t spend time doing what you know isn’t producing fruit. Estimate future holiday attendance based on past data so you know how to plan and are better prepared to handle what may come your way.
  • Make Discoveries – Run custom reports on giving, attendance, event participation, etc. See who may have been involved related to the percentage of your total members in worship each Sunday to identify what the interest level was. If members weren’t interested and attendance was low, don’t hold that event again in the future. If there was a particular member or group of members who have been highly involved or have shown consistent attendance, think about engaging them and enlisting them to help you lead in certain areas.
  • Visibility for All – Share reports you run with anyone you’re able to, as long as it is applicable to them. Furthermore, use reports to create email lists or groups pertaining to special interests. Send follow-up reports to your church staff so they know what your attendance and retention numbers look like. Share them with church leaders so they know more about the level of attendance and engagement with their events. Target a group of members or attenders that only come around holidays and determine the best way to engage them the rest of the year.
  • Grow Your Church – By understanding where your church is presently, you will be able to spend more time on what works, ultimately helping your church grow, make more disciples and deepen the Biblical and theological understanding of current church members. Through reports, you can reiterate and further define your new member welcome and on-boarding strategy. Remember, don’t do anything that hasn’t worked in the past. Through reports, you can find people that seem to have slipped through the cracks or lost interest, re-engage them and get them assimilated again. Through reports, you can identify additional opportunities for people who are very active in your church.

Using data and reports to help generate new ideas and strategies can prove to be highly beneficial, especially if your old or existing strategies just don’t seem to be effective any longer. Numbers give you a very concrete snapshot of the health and vitality of your church, and ultimately, you can use data to help you see exponential growth in your church body in the near future.

 

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