Counting dollars is getting a lot of attention these days - unfortunately, most of the counting involves "b"illions and "t"rillions - numbers which for most people are, well, uncountable. This isn't a diatribe about what our political system is debating now (maybe a future post thought). This is all about the typical church's fear of numbers.
Growing up in a rural Southern Baptist church, I grew accustomed to the two boards on either side of the platform in the front of the church. One had the day's hymn numbers on it, the other had last weeks statistics: Sunday School attendance, worship attendance, and offering amount. While those boards may not be in use much today, the mindset behind them is very prevalent. Many churches are satisfied with keeping these simple few statistics, and that's it. On the other end of the spectrum, there are churches that are immersed in measuring everything that moves, and even some stuff that doesn't. Like many actions, the best path is probably somewhere in the middle.
William Hoyt has a great book out entitled Effectiveness by the Numbers. It's subtitle is an apt description: Counting what Counts in the Church. I think it would be very instructive to look at a few highlights in the book, and consider them in your church. Here is a great highlight to start the discussion.
Since in our humanness we tend to count things that matter most to us, most churches will at least count the offerings. They might not be able to tell you how many came to services, how many unbelievers became believers, how many participate in small groups, or how many serve in some form of ministry, but they can tell you how much was given - and of course the amount given in these situations is never enough!
What are you counting in your church?