Church Vitality Markers
Numbers can't tell us everything, but they are helpful. Here are some signs of what vital congregations look like:
- Increase of Professions of Faith, Baptisms, Average Worship Attendance (AWA) and/or Relationships built in community outreach. WHAT THIS REVEALS: that someone is sharing their faith, making invitations and building relationships with those outside the congregation.
- Working towards 50% or more of AWA engaged in Bible Study, Sunday School, or prayer/spiritual formation groups. WHAT THIS REVEALS:that people are engaged in a consistent encounter with Scripture and in seeking to grow spiritually; that people have a vital faith relationship with Jesus Christ and are not Christian in name only; that people understand themselves as disciples and servants and not just “members.” When this is a strength of the church, the church can’t help but be vital.
- Working towards 50% or more of AWA engaged in hands-on mission outreach. WHAT THIS REVEALS:that people are putting their faith into action and seeking to make a difference in their community.
- Weekly offering receipts match expenses without the use of reserves. WHAT THIS REVEALS: that people are growing in the spiritual discipline and biblical command of tithing. Financial matters are ultimately spiritual matters. Practically, this factor strengthens long-term sustainability. It helps the congregation not let financial matters become something that distracts from the mission and purpose of the church.
- Clear and intentional alignment of the life and witness of the congregation with the mission of the Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. WHAT THIS REVEALS: that focused reflection on the mission of the Church in a specific setting has taken place. Leaders can articulate how their structure supports their mission. Efforts to align the life of the congregation around the mission is ongoing and includes experimenting with new ideas and structures and letting go of what no longer works. Stories can be shared about the experiments tried and risks taken to fulfill the mission of the Church.
- Covenant Connection expressed by participation in a missional network, payment in full of district and conference apportionments, and participation in conference or district opportunities. WHAT THIS REVEALS: that the congregation values the connections that are made with other congregations which foster good ministry in the community and world beyond what a single congregation can accomplish. We join our resources with the resources of others for maximum impact. A practical expression of how the congregation understands the Body of Christ.
- Vitality Markers