Hillsong Church Indicators of Church Health

With 68 services in 28 locations, Hillsong Church knows a thing or two about church health and growth.
Recently, Pastor Joel A’bell lead a session titled “Indicators of Church Health,” and shared the five gauges they use to assess the health of their church.
We’ll share these five gauges with you, but before we do, it’s important to understand what gauges are and what they are not.

Why Focus on Metrics?
Gauges or dashboards allow you to display your metrics and create great conversation for how to move forward in your church.
Metrics aren’t something to fear.
In order to grow, you must know where you currently are.
Think about driving your car somewhere you’ve never been. If you enter a destination into your GPS, will you won’t arrive there until you first enter your starting location.
Metrics give you a starting location.

Two Questions to Ask Yourself
As a church leader, you must be able to answer:
Where am I now?
Where am I going?
Then, with both of these questions answered, you can determine the best route to take to reach your goal. Remember, you can’t put a roadmap down if there’s no origin.

Using Gauges to Guide You
Again, go back to the last time you drove. Chances are, you didn’t even know it, but as you were moving forward, you were able to view all the important gauges and make adjustments without really taking our eyes off the road. You glanced down to notice your speed, oil pressure, if your lights were on, but none of that prohibited you from proceeding on your route.
Monitoring your gauges allows you to continue moving forward.
As you set up dashboards and gauges, they’ll allow you see that everything’s running smoothly as you proceed to your goal.

Hillsong’s Five Gauges
Hillsong Church has five gauges or measures of health and growth for their locations. Most of them are based on data you’re already tracking, like attendance, but some work based on data points that may be new to you, like how many volunteers or small groups you have. Make sure you begin tracking the necessary data consistently to get the best results from the Hillsong Health Report.

1. Attendance. When looking at year-over-year growth, Hillsong aims to be 7% higher in attendance than the week before.
2. New people. New attenders and new believers have a unique discipleship track and follow-up process. Hillsong Church follows up with new attenders and new believers over a three-month process, with the first seven days being critical. For their dashboard, they track the percentage of new people that respond to their follow-up. If 10 were new, and only three responded, that’s a 30% response rate. Their ideal response rate is 50%.
3. Connect groups. Church happens in community, so the number of small groups—called Connect Groups by Hillsong—is an important indicator for their church growth.
4. Volunteer ratio. Great volunteers serve and care for attenders. The ratio of volunteers to attenders is important to Hillsong Church, which aims for a ratio of 1:7. That means every one volunteer is providing care for seven attenders. As the second number gets higher, the less healthy your church will be.
5. Giving. As you know, our churches won’t run without giving, but keeping track of this number is more than that. Giving from attenders allows us to see spiritual growth and maturity in our congregations. By setting a per person giving number—dividing total giving by total attendance—HIllsong Church is able to track how their individual campuses are doing in leading through generosity.

To hear more directly from Pastor Joel A’bell, watch this hour-long training on the Hillsong Health Report.
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