Posts Tagged PowerPoint

How to figure your church growth rate

By Rev. Rick Robinson

Growth rates are an important part of the diagnostic tools we have in our church growth toolbox. Part of developing your church growth strategies will be understanding growth rates.

First let me clarify what numerical growth is. These numbers we count are much more than statistics. Each one has a name and God knows them, loves them, and desires to have a relationship with them. Trying to separate evangelism and discipleship is like trying to slice a quarter in half so you will have 50 cents. You do not. We must reach people for Jesus, but also assimilate them into a loving church and disciple them. These numbers are only a tool to keep us on track, as a physician would use a thermometer and his other instruments to diagnose a patient.

Each church is either growing, on a plateau, or declining. Eighty percent of the churches in America are not growing in fact eight churches a day close in the United States and Canada. When we do a consultation we look at the AGR (Annual Growth Rate) AAGR (Average Annual Growth Rate) and DGR (Decade Growth Rate).

Before I show you how to figure your growth rate, let me explain what we are looking for. In church growth terms, a church is not growing unless it increases by five percent a year. On the other side, a church is not in a decline unless it is losing five percent a year. Everything in that ten percent window (five percent plus–and five percent minus) is considered a plateau. Most of the churches that have partnered with us and have a membership to our associate services are growing at twenty percent. The smaller a church is, the easier it is for that number to be higher. It is not unusual for us to be able to double many of the churches that have 50 or less in worship in twelve months time. My home church, Idlewild Baptist Church, here in Tampa, has around 7500 in worship. Growing five percent is a lot more work. You get the idea, and have a few thoughts already about your own church.

Now let’s look at these church growth tools and get started on the path to new church growth ideas, with old church growth principles. The Annual Growth Rate (AGR) Not to insult your intelligence, is used to tell us how much numerical growth has occurred from one year to the next, and what the trend will most likely be, if no changes are made.

At Church growth Associates, we have weekly tracking and accountability for the churches we partner with, when it comes to worship attendance. We want to make adjustments as needed and not wait until the end of the year to figure out what went wrong (or right). In my examples I use attendance, so it can’t be said we have more members than there are people. Church membership is important, but attendance is a great measure of our effectiveness. You can use members for your calculations if you like, use any criterion you desire, just keep consistent with the formula from year to year.

1. Subtract the earlier year’s average attendance, from the later year’s average attendance.
2. Divide the answer you get by the earlier year.
3. Multiply the answer you get by 100 to change the decimal to percent.
4. The answer is your AGR.

Let’s give an illustration of this example. Gracious Church had an average attendance of 125 last year. This year Gracious Church had an average of 180 in attendance.

This year    180
Last year  – 125
Increase      55

An increase of 55 in worship, divided by the earlier year average (125) is .44 times 100 (to convert to percent). The AGR for Gracious Church is 44% this year.

Now go back for the last ten years, and get the AGR for each one. This will give you a look at the trend your church is on, and where it most likely will be in ten years if no changes are made.

If you don’t have Microsoft Office or PowerPoint, you will find a link to the open source alternative, Open Office in our library you can own at no charge. This will help you to see a graph of your progress.

You can use the same formula as above to find your DGR if you desire, but I recommend working with the numbers from the past ten years. We use older history only when there are more questions that need to be answered. Ten years is sufficient in most cases.

You are invited to check out the vast resources for church growth on our main website. Here are just a few.

Church Experience Project

The Un-churched by State

Adding Another Worship Service

Check out our Library

If you would like to see if Church Growth Associates could help you with your strategies for church growth, tell us your story, maybe we can help.

Rick Robinson

 

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.
MyChurchGrowth.com

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The Church Visitor Welcome Scale

By Rev. Rick Robinson

What happens to a church visitor (perhaps you call them guest or newcomers) when they attend your church for the first time? Most people don’t think about that question very often, they just assume a newcomer will feel like they fit in with the crowd.

I want to give you a church growth tool we use at Church Growth Associates to help bring a newcomer into the assimilation process of your church. When we do either an iConsultation or an onsite consultation, we use ratios and factors to diagnose your church and find out where your growth mix is. When it comes to church growth, Jesus made it clear that we are to be about the great commission. We cannot sit around and expect new people to show up in the volume it will take to achieve biblical growth.

Matthew 28:19-20
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It is impossible to grow a church without new people, making church visitors the lifeline for the future. Keep in mind this simple church growth principle; no visitors–no growth. Twenty five percent of first all time visitors should become active members of a church within a year, while seventy five percent of second time visitors should become members within a year. We must give honest evaluation as to how newcomers are treated when they attend.

Colossians 4:5
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

One of the tools you can use to help keep people coming back is the visitor welcome scale. There are six actions on this scale, each given a point value. The greater influence the action has on the church visitor, the higher the point value, with a total of 3320 possible points for completing all six actions. Below are the six actions with the point values listed.

1. A smile from someone. This has been assigned a 10-point value. This is so simple everyone should be doing it already.

2. A greeting from someone nearby. This also has a value of 10 points. Most of the churches in American would not score more than the first twenty points. If there were no official “greeting time” in the service, many would not even get this far.

3. Exchange of names. This carries a 100-point value. We start building more of an assimilation environment when we become more personal. Your guest must perceive this is the church where they can make friends and fit in. Remember that if a person does not make seven friends the first year, they probably won’t be there the second year.

4. An invitation to return. This is worth 200 points. You can also invite them to other church events and activities. Doing this at the end of the service will make the introduction time you spent with them more sincere, since you did not run away to talk with your friends when church was over. Instead, apply the next action.

5. Introduction to another member. This is a 1000 point action. The newcomer is going to begin seeing this church is a place they will fit in quickly and call their church home.

6. Introduction to the pastor. This is the highest point value on the scale at 2000 points. Some pastors stand at the exit of the church and greet people on the way out; you may have other ways to interact with people. At my home church, Idlewild Baptist Church, here in Tampa, Pastor Ken Whitten has a “Pastor on the veranda” time after each service on Sunday morning. This is a time where volunteer deacons and their wives meet and greet new visitors on the veranda, give them an informational DVD about the ministries of the church and introduce them to the pastor.

All of these actions combined will give you a total of 3320 points. Let me ask you how many points did you earn last Sunday? How many are you going to earn this Lord’s day? When you use this simple tool, you will set the newcomer on the assimilation path to a meaningful and productive church experience. To learn more about church growth ideas and strategies be sure to visit the iLibrary on our website at http://MyChurchGrowth.com/library and our PowerPoint central (members only area) for additional helpful church growth tools.

To see if Church Growth Associates can help your church, click here;  Can Church Growth Associates help my church? A consultant will contact you to hear your story.

Rev. Rick Robinson is a church growth consultant helping churches of all sizes with church growth and evangelism strategies.

http://MyChurchGrowth.com

 

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

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