Can You Measure Ministry?

Some of you may be breaking out in hives just from the title of this blog. Kudos for forging ahead! Others of you may be looking for ways to get a grip on whether or not what your church does matters. No matter where you fall, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you’re about to read…

What do churches measure?
Historically metrics have largely been attendance and giving. While these are important figures to know, they are not helpful by themselves to determine how effective your church is. For one thing, these are lagging indicators—the results come in after the fact. In addition, these are outside of your direct control. You can’t MAKE people give, for example.

Are those the right things to measure?
Besides the lagging indicators of attendance and giving, the church needs to find leading indicators that are predictive of future growth. For example, what metrics could be predictive of increased attendance and giving?

Guest follow-up could certainly be predictive of return visits and regular attendance. In this case, a good possible leading indicator metric could be time to first contact. Prompt, friendly follow-up is always a good way to get people to come back, and hopefully stick around!

Trust the process.
It is also important to get perspectives on process effectiveness. The percentage of new attendees connected to a group or class can give us a better idea of how well assimilation is working far better than just counting raw numbers.

Volunteer turnover is also an issue for almost every church. How can you tell if you are at risk for losing a ministry-impacting number of people from crucial positions? What if your church had a metric for time in a volunteer role? Do you know when the last time your key volunteers had a break? Something as simple as volunteer attendance tracking could help spot devoted servants who might just need a break.

Experiment with thinking differently about what factors are predictive of the results you want to see as a church. If you need some help, contact one of our church consultants who would love to brainstorm with you!



The Summer Slump: Decreased Giving to Churches

In the summer, the temperature may be rising, but charitable giving is on the decline. Many factors play a part in this, including lower weekend attendance, vacation schedules, and summer distractions.

It turns out that contributions entered by Fellowship One churches in June, July and August of 2013 were down 13% over the previous three months!

Summer Slump Blog Data Graphic 300x276 300x276 - The Summer Slump: Decreased Giving to Churches

The most obvious answer for giving slumps during summer months is that attendance is down. However, if we know attendance is going to be lower as people go on vacation, resulting in less contributions being made, why don’t we do something to keep it from happening?


Continue reading “The Summer Slump: Decreased Giving to Churches”

Release Notification | Contribution Batches

Changes are being made in preparation for the release of our new Contributions Application (coming in Q2!). On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, we will release a consolidated Batches > View All page in Fellowship One. The link for Batches will now be named General Batches and the link for Remote Deposit Capture will now be named Imported Batches. These changes do not impact the way you enter contributions or process RDC batches.
We will also be adding the ability to attribute RDC Contributions to the Household Level in order to make this feature consistent with all other contribution entry methods.