7 Numbers That Matter Most in Small Group Ministry

Do you know what numbers matter most in small group ministry? They might not be what you think. And … it might be a matter of perspective. But for my money, these are the 7 key numbers:

  1. Easter adult attendance minus the number of adults connected in groups (the Easter adult attendance number is often used to reflect the number of adults in the crowd). This will inspire reminiscing about the future, when responding to the past is the tendency.
  2. The difference between average adult attendance and Easter adult attendance. This difference is a reflection of the size of the crowd, an important statistic when you’re seeking to understand the outreach potential of your church, and an essential consideration when you’re choosing topics for church-wide campaigns.
  3. The number of new groups launched in the previous year. (Note: The focus here is on new groups formed, not the growth in total number of groups.) This number reflects the number of new connecting opportunities (remember, it’s easier to connect new people into new groups).
  4. Year-on-year growth in the number of groups. This number is a reflection of groups sustained.
  5. Total number of people connected (Note: As your ministry grows, it becomes more challenging to track the actual number of people connected. A census taken at regular intervals, for example, annually in mid-November, can guide your understanding of the actual number of people connected).
  6. Number of people attending groups who don’t attend your church (this can be calculated at the same time the census is taken). This is another reflection of the inclusiveness of your groups.
  7. Number of people serving as facilitators. This is a much more important number than most realize. Since the ability to rotate facilitators predicts both group viability (it can survive the absence of the leader) and expansion capability (much easier for group members to see themselves as group leaders), this is a helpful number to track.
In my mind, these are the 7 numbers that matter most in small group ministry. What do you think? Think I missed one? Want to add one? You can click here to jump into the conversation.
Previous articleWhy I Rejected Sound Advice
Next articleHow to Talk to Students Who Don’t Show Up to Youth Group
Mark Howell
Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and ChurchCentral.com.