Written by Bill Whitt
April 30, 2024

How To Measure Church Renewal

Most of us have a general sense of how things are going at our churches. Here are some objective measurements of church health we can track.
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How do you know if your church renewal efforts are effective? Most of us have a general sense of how things are going at our churches.

  • Feelings are not enough. We need objective measurements of church health we can track.

Metrics matter! The Center for Church Renewal primarily tracks three metrics to gauge a church’s vitality:

  • We see transfer growth from outside your denomination as a gauge of your hospitality.
  • We see infant baptisms or dedications as an indicator of your ability to reach the next generation.
  • We see evangelistic growth as a measure of your gospel-telling and relationship building.

We believe all churches should track these metrics, and we offer a tool to help — the Church Vitality Index.

  • Churches should also consider tracking other metrics relevant to their mission/vision. Below are ten more ideas to get you started!
Ten additional metrics to consider:
Metric 1. Attendees who were invited by others
  • If your church often sees many first-time guests who come because they were invited by a current member, this is a measurement of excitement. It indicates that your people are so enthusiastic and supportive that they are willing to recommend you to someone else!
Metric 2. Repeat visits
  • If your church sees a high percentage of first-time guests return for second and third visits, this is a measurement of hospitality. People who return typically have connected with others and felt welcomed.
Metric 3. First-time group members
  • If your church sees many guests become members of small groups, this is a measurement of enfolding. Those who join groups of any kind are more likely to feel like a vital part of the body rather than just an attender.
Metric 4. Transfer growth from new residents
  • If your church sees growth from people who have recently moved into your town, this is an indication of excellence. People who move to a new city often do extensive “church shopping” before settling into a good fit. If they pick your church, you can bet you are doing something right!
Metric 5. Completions of a discipleship process
  • If your church sees many people progress through and complete a discipleship pathway, this is an indication of maturity. This indicates that your church does well at helping people learn how to properly read and apply the Bible to their lives.
Metric 6. Percentage in groups  
  • If your church has a high percentage of people in groups, this is a measurement of the value of community. Churches who excel at helping people find community are “stickier,” as people feel known and loved.
Metric 7. Percentage volunteering
  • If your church has a high percentage of people who volunteer, this is an indication of the value of service. The most healthy and high-impact churches are filled with people who are concerned about others’ needs before their own! Plus, people feel needed!
Metric 8. Outreach event attendance
  • If your church has good attendance at outreach events, this is a measurement of your in-person outreach. Churches that are present in the community in meaningful ways have a large “front door.”
Metric 9. Livestream views & social media followers
  • If your church has grown a large audience online, this is a measurement of your digital outreach. Churches that leverage online resources effectively have found that they can be another giant “front door” to the church.
Metric 10. Losses not due to death or moving
  • If your church loses a high percentage of people each year (not due to death or moving), it is a measurement of unhappiness. Even churches with lots of new people coming in can stagnate if the back door is also wide open.

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