Community Empowerment Research

We help churches, schools, and community organizations
measure needs of the people they serve,
set strategies to meet those needs, and
assess the impact of their work in service, training, evangelism, and outreach.

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Why Numerical Growth Goals are Inadequate

(Excerpted from “Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches, by Christian Schwarz, 1996)

Only 31 percent of all churches growing at a rate above average use numerical goals.  Seven out of ten of fast-growing churches do without them.  Having quantitative goals is not a universal church growth principle.

Concrete goals are motivating.  Churches need precise, challenging, time-bound, and measurable goals to progress in their development.  Creating numeric goals does not motivate individuals to take concrete steps toward church growth. Goals can only motivate people when the goals touch on areas which they can personally influence.

To become more loving towards other home group members; to cordially welcome guests at our worship services; to invite unchurched acquaintances over for coffee; to commit oneself to pray at a certain time each day–these are all attainable goals which members can personally influence.  Isn’t it interesting that a concentration on these qualitative areas demonstrably has a stronger relationship to a church’s growth than the supposedly important attendance goals?

It is not wrong, but rather very useful to track worship attendance and to analyze trends.  It all depends on the value assigned to attendance statistics.  Increased worship attendance is not the ultimate “goal,” with everything else being a means to that end; it is a natural by-product of improved quality.

(Emphasis added)

In other words, Measure What Matters, not just what's easy.

Sample Church Surveys

    Sample Church-Life Survey     Sample Church Priority Survey     Sample Church Belief Survey