This is a sample of the kinds of questions that you can use to learn more about your church.  You will need to ask these kinds of questions, and  you need to keep track of the answers.  Start with the number of members on the roll, the number of active members and the total attending. Then compare to the number attending a year ago. And five years ago. Discover the record attendance ever, and when it happened.

Ø How many people are coming each week?

Ø What percentage of the congregational membership is attending?

Ø What percentage of those attending are members? (In some churches, a significant portion of those attending are not members, but are instead “permanent visitors”, meaning they consume resources but give very little back to the organization, in time or money.)

Ø Of the missing members, how many are accounted for (work schedules, housebound, sick, etc.)?

Ø What percent of the congregation has a role to play in leading the service, or a family member? (In other words, do you have to have the children sing a special before the parents show up?)

Ø What percentage of the people are involved in both the morning worship and the Sunday School or other small-group Bible study?

Ø What percentage of the congregation is in a leadership position?

Ø How many are involved in at least 3 activities of the church?

Ø Where do the members live, in relation to the church? (Are they from the neighborhood, or do they commute in from a distance away?)

Ø Where do the visitors live in relation to the church?

Ø Of the members, what is their marital status / family status? Who else is in their home? their ages?

Evaluate what you know about the building:

Ø How many people can fit in the worship center? In all the classrooms at once?

Ø Are the nursery facilities adequate? How many beds, tables and child-sized toilets and sinks?

Ø Where and in what shape are the adult rest rooms?

Ø Is the facility handicap accessible? What parts of the building aren’t?

Ø How many spaces in the parking lot? Compare that to the number of seats in the auditorium. (Are there at least 2 seats per parking place?)

Ø Is the church easy to find from the main road?

Ø Where is the natural entrance from the parking areas? Can a visitor find the unlocked door? Is that door covered (from rain) & lighted? What is the first thing the visitor sees when they walk in?

Ø What does the building smell like? (Yes, smell. Some old buildings smell old & musty.)

Ø Is there any issue with the neighbors? (noise, smell, etc)

Ø Is there a kitchen? How big is it? When was it last updated? What is the condition of the equipment (stove, refrigerator, etc.) How big is it? How easy is it to empty the trash? Can you empty the trash directly outside or do you have to go through the church and out the main door?

Ø How well lit is the sanctuary and hallways? Is the sound board in the back or in a closet? (in the open, center, back is best). What other multimedia is available?

Ø Any issues with HVAC? Does the heater work? Can the air conditioning cool the sanctuary for a Saturday afternoon wedding in mid-August?

Ø General condition of buildings (roof, paint, carpet, entrances, parking lot, etc.)

Ø Any looming repairs? (peeling paint, chipped tile,

Ø Any updates needed? (from funky colors to inadequate electrical service)

Know the weekly or monthly income, in absolute terms, and then calculate the income as a per person or per family amount. Is it enough to cover basis bills? List every savings account, including the special funds, and know if there are any restrictions on using them. Do you own the building or rent? How much does it cost to use your space on a weekly or monthly average?

Ø What is the total annual income? Is there a trend in giving? (Bigger the first Sunday? On a regular bi-weekly routine? Low in the summer?)

Ø What is the average monthly income? Is it meeting the bills?

Ø How many people are giving something, at least once a month? (How many offering envelopes are turned in?)

You can also do some extrapolation in general terms. The city officials or Chamber of Commerce can tell you what the median income for an area is. You can estimate the congregation’s median income if your realize that most people will spend a third of their income on their mortgage; if you look to the payments needed to pay for the average house values in an area, you will know pretty well that their income was 3 times that payment when they bought the house. Add up all those estimates and divide by 10 to see how close to full participation in tithing your congregation is. Multiply the estimate total by 2% to get the national average for charitable contributions. For most people who give more than a token amount (usually $2, $5 or $20), their giving will fall somewhere between two and ten percent.

Find key documentation:

Ø What does the phone book say?

Ø How restrictive is the church constitution and bylaws?

Ø Have they kept annual reports and minutes of business meetings?

Other information will only come by personal interview:

Ø What is the personal spiritual condition of the membership? (merely religious or truly saved)

Ø What is their level of maturity?

Ø What are their spiritual gifts? Are those gifts being used?

Ø Do they believe God can use them personally?

Ø Do they believe God can use them in this church if they were to volunteer for ministry? (Or are their too many potential soloists for them to ever get to sing?)

Ø What are their hobbies? Their social club involvement? Where do they work? If retired, how long?

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