We are using attendance to gauge growth and outreach but have quit counting how many are in church as a gauge of involvement or effectiveness. It just is not working. We may not be the normal church but with people working various hours, not everyone can show up on Sunday morning, add our Wednesday night youth group, that has doubled over the last few months, and Sunday morning attendance no longer is an adequate gauge of our actual growth.
We have stopped counting how many are in church and started examining how effective we are in each service. We evaluate the prayer time, how many are plugging into personal Bible study and the discipleship process in the everyday lives of the congregation. A healthy church has become more important than our weekly attendance.
One testified of deliverance from alcohol, another of transformation, the women’s prayer meeting has been dynamic, people are being saved and healed. Evangelism is now happening at work amid testimonies of change. This, has convinced us, putting numbers of attendees on a sheet of paper is no longer important. We no longer boast of a “record setting attendance” but have changed our story to “look what God did in _____________’s life.”
To celebrate “God’s amazing grace” rather than “we had a great attendance,” has been and continues to be a source of joy, excitement and praise. “To God be the glory” rather than “successful outreach,” has been a load lifted from our leadership. A good number of people giving regular testimonies of God’s intervention and nobody celebrating “our absentee number was down.”
Yes, we stopped counting how many are in church and now, we expect God to save, deliver, heal and uplift needy people. We are humbly grateful for the harvest we are seeing and expecting to see in greater measures.
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