Metrics of a Healthy Church?

In the January “Called to Serve” ministers letter L. Alton Garrison shared some interesting findings that I thought I would share here today:

Recently, Dr. Michael Clarensau has completed an intensive study of a decades’ worth of ACMRs to determine what metrics might help you determine the health of your church. Based on his research, he proposes five metrics:

First, missional effectiveness. The metric compares Sunday morning worship attendance (A) with the number of conversions or salvation decisions (C), measuring how many attendees it takes to produce a convert (the AC ratio). A healthy church will have a low AC ratio of attendees to converts each year. Dr. Clarensau estimates that the AC ratio should be 5:1 or lower.

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Second, assimilation effectiveness. This metric compares the number of conversions (C) with the number of water baptisms (W). It measures whether the church is maintaining connection with converts long enough to guide them toward water baptism. Dr. Clarensau estimates that in a healthy church, the CW ratio is 3:1 or lower. For every three converts,

in other words, there should be at least one who follows the Lord in water baptism.

Third, kingdom growth:.This metric compares Sunday morning worship attendance (A) with the number of water baptisms (W). It asks: Are baptized converts becoming full-fledged members of the community of faith? Dr. Clarensau estimates that in a healthy church, the AW ratio will be 15:1 or lower; in other words, no more than 15 attendees for every water baptism.

Fourth, discipleship and mobilization effectiveness. This metric compares the number of conversions (C) with the number of Spirit baptisms (S). It asks: Are we effectively turning converts into Spirit-filled workers? Dr. Clarensau estimates that in a healthy church, if the CS ratio is less than 3:1—that is, less than 3 converts for every Spirit-baptized believer—then we are failing to mobilize our church for evangelism. If the CS ratio is greater than 4:1, however, then we are failing to disciple new converts into a Spirit-filled life.

Fifth, reproduction effectiveness. This metric compares Sunday morning worship attendance (A) with Spirit baptisms (S). It asks: Are we reproducing Spirit-filled believers? To measure this number, multiply your AC ratio by 3 and 4. Dr. Clarensau estimates that in a healthy church, the number will be greater than 3xAC but lower than 4xAC. In other words, if a church’s AC ratio is 4:1, its AS ratio should be between 12:1 and 16:1.

(The complete article can be downloaded from the Assemblies of God website, and the complete study is available by contacting L. Alton Garrison’s office.)

 

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