One of the things that I've had to learn the hard way is to not live week to week when it comes to the life of our church. This will drive you insane. If your attendance fluctuates (and everyone's does), then you will go from feeling like a success to failure in the course of 7 days. There are ways to monitor your progress, but one week to the next is usually not the best one.
Here's a couple of questions I ask:
- Where were we last year at this time? This will give you a bigger picture into what's happening and allow you to compare apples to apples.
- What are the health markers for our church? Is it guests? People in groups? People involved in service inside and outside the church? Allow this to add color to your perspective.
- What has attendance looked like this quarter? - This gives you more of a Goodyear blimp perspective than only a microscopic view.
I write this because I talk to Pastors all the time who suffer from the same disease I did. "This week compared to last week" doesn't paint an accurate picture. It's not that this stat doesn't matter, but simply that it's not the only one that matters.
As leaders, we have to start thinking in bigger increments of time. Think quarterly, yearly, 5 years out. Watch your patterns. If you've only done 2 services, there isn't much history. But that doesn't mean you still can't think bigger than week to week.
In almost every area of our leadership, we think bigger than one week. This is just another area to pull back the lens and get a bigger panoramic.