Our Attendance & Offering Numbers For The Week…

Picture a Race Car Driver who uses regular gasoline instead of high-octane. He’s not going to win. In fact, you’d have some serious questions about this driver. Does he not care about winning? Does he just have no idea? Or is he too cheap to do what it takes to accomplish his goal?

Now picture a church that does something that will impair its ability to accomplish its mission of connecting with people who are far from God and bringing them to Jesus. Maybe you’d have some questions. Do they care about the mission? Do they just have no idea? Or maybe they’re just not willing to do what it takes?

Thought I’d share a few ways I see churches doing things (often small things) that I believe impair its ability to accomplish its mission. Here’s another one:

You go to a church and someone hands you a “bulletin.” In it you may find a few notes about today’s service, and a couple of announcements of upcoming events and … last week’s attendance and offering numbers. As a Christians perhaps you find this mildly interesting. You wondered how successful this church was. As a non-Christian you can’t believe this is how the church defines success. Now that church would argue that it does not define success by its attendance and offering numbers, but then why is that the only way it shows it’s keeping score? Why aren’t the statistics given in the program the number of hours the church served its community this week? Or how many struggling people were counseled this week? Or how many formerly lonely people have been connected in community? But none of that is mentioned. And so it becomes very obvious what’s important to you, regardless of what you say. You care about getting people there and getting the money out of their wallets.

If you put your attendance and offering numbers in your program (or website or whatever) you may be appealing to the curiosity of Christians, it may even increase your giving, but you are turning off non-Christians.