Do you fear statistics? Do you dread them? Like basketball and football statistics, Sunday School statistics simply tell us how we are doing beyond the “eye test.”
Sometimes we can think Sunday School is doing great. Everyone is happy. Teachers are in place. There is no conflict or complaints. At other times, we may feel like we are not making progress. There may be few guests and new members. There may be no new classes or workers. Attendance and enrollment may seem stagnant.
Annually, quarterly, and monthly tracking your attendance, enrollment, new members, contacts, classes, and workers can help you to have a healthy sense of where you are. How are you doing this month compared to last month? How are you doing this month compared to this month last year? These and similar questions help you keep your finger on the pulse of Sunday School. If some are up and others are down, that may tell us where we need to do some additional work.
But there are other statistics that can help us recognize progress, stagnation, or decline. Consider these two statistics:
- Percentage of attendance versus enrollment. Simply divide your attendance by your enrollment. Multiply the answer times 100 (or simply move the decimal two places to the right). If the answer is below 40%, statistics are telling you that more ministry is needed to absentees. If the answer is above 60%, statistics are telling you that you need to enroll more people. Watch that number to see how it is changing during the year. On average, large churches tend to need more ministry to absentees and small churches tend to need to enroll more people.
- Percentage of Sunday School attendance versus worship attendance. Simply divide your attendance by your worship attendance. Multiply the answer times 100 (or simply move the decimal two places to the right). If the answer is below 80%, start some new classes and work to enroll people attending worship. Statewide the average is about 65% which says that most churches need to work on this.
In Part 2, I will talk about two more statistics: workers versus attendance and classes versus attendance. How is your Sunday School doing? How is your class doing? Statistics matter. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!