Counting

“The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.” – Proverbs 11:1

I often joke that we bloggers are quick to tell people our attendance when it’s going well or when we have a big day, but then get silent about the numbers when things are slumping.  We do not apologize for counting people on Sunday mornings, but we make every effort to make sure it’s accurate.  Our goal in counting people is not to impress other bloggers, but to lead Oak Leaf Church to the best of our ability.  Facts lead to better decisions.  Here’s some tips on counting.

  • Be consistent.  You have to count the same way week after week.  If you change your formula, you’ll get different results.
  • In the main service, wait until the message when everyone is seated to count.  Have at least two people count and average their number.
  • Decide how you are going to deal with duplicates and multiple services.
  • Don’t send somebody down an aisle pointing their finger and being obvious.  We do use a clicker that someone keeps in their hand down by their pockets.  They count without looking like they are counting.
  • Use the same count sheet every week to write down the numbers.  Here’s a PDF of our simple version.  Download weekly-headcount-sheet.
  • Track the numbers in Excel or some other format so you can study trends and patterns.

We have three services on Sunday.  In the first service, we count the band and tech crew.  In the remaining two, we do not.  In our kids environments, we only count kids, assuming that those adult leaders are going to church and will be counted there.

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