April 1, 2015

How do you size your congregation?

When I began congregational ministry 35 years ago, membership was still the most basic unit of determining the size of the congregation. Twenty years ago when I became pastor of First Mennonite Church in Newton, we began using worship attendance as the real size of the congregation. The conference was (is) still using the often fictional number of membership as the basic reporting unit. A rule of thumb from Lyle Schaller was that churches need one pastor per 100 in worship to maintain vitality of program and pastoral care.

Pastor Steve Schmidt recently wondered about a new measurement of size at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church. Worship attendance average is 202 so far in 2015. But how many are our regular attenders? Using the criteria for regular attender of two times per month, the new measurement is 281 regular attenders. Which number is more helpful for planning pastoral care? Programming? Staffing? What is the size of your congregation?

– Clarence Rempel, WDC Conference Minister

WDC SEEDS is a weekly communication for WDC churches announcing what’s new and good in Western District Conference. Please forward this to congregational members.  Pastors are invited to submit one paragraph summaries of kingdom initiatives that will encourage the networking of best practices across Western District Conference. WDC Seeds is also available at:  www.mennowdc.org.

Western District Conference

2517 North Main, PO Box 306

North Newton KS  67117

316-283-6300; FAX:  316-283-0620

Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org

Website:  www.mennowdc.org