A few months ago I was looking at some of the numbers my team at The Unstuck Group tracks related to church health and leadership. You may have read about some of them before in our Vital Signs eBook. I started thinking we should get the trends we’re seeing out to church leaders more frequently. My gut says you’ll be interested.
For example, in the last 12 months, for the churches we have data on, the average attendance has increased by 5.2% over the previous year. When you take that combined with our data on percentage of baptisms, it appears that much of this growth is occurring through reaching people who were outside the faith.
I find that very encouraging, and it’s somewhat counter to a lot of the chatter about declining attendance that’s going on in church circles. It seems people will still attend services (and invite their friends) if there’s a compelling reason to do so.
With many other observations like this I wanted to share, we decided to give church leaders a consistent look at the trends we’re seeing in the form of a quarterly report.
Each quarter, we plan to release a new edition of The Unstuck Church Report: Benchmarks & Trends in U.S. Churches. The first edition is available today, and it’s free:
Each edition will share 20 updated metrics in four key areas of church health: Ministry Reach, Staffing and Leadership, Connection, and Finances.
Here’s a sample of three more stats from this first report that you may find interesting:
- Two-thirds of churches only have “contemporary” styles of worship services.
Of the balance, 11% of churches only have traditional services and 21% are attempting some blend of contemporary and traditional.
- Churches continue to lean on part-time staff.
The average church has more than 50% of their staff working part-time. This is compared to the current national average of 18% part-time workers according to the Department of Labor.
- Churches average having the equivalent of 12 weeks in cash reserves.
That’s well beyond the six to eight weeks that The Unstuck Group recommends. This suggests churches are generally in a healthy financial position to invest in expanded Kingdom initiatives.
You can download the first edition today, and opt-in to get each quarterly update for free by email.