Our mission in the Minnesota Conference is to help people realize they are accepted in Jesus Christ, and come to know, love, serve, and share Him. How do we measure that? How do we measure our effectiveness? We can’t know the disciple’s heart; but, there are some key indicators. We also recognize that it is God, by His Holy Spirit, who draws people to Jesus.
We keep track of baptisms, professions of faith, membership, tithe, and worship attendance. Recently, we also started tracking the number of new churches being planted and the number of small groups in the churches. These are either leading indicators or lag indicators of our disciple-making effectiveness. There are many other aspects of ministry which we could measure.
During 2016, our average Sabbath worship service total attendance in the churches of the Conference was 3,950 people per Sabbath. It is interesting to note that the average attendance varies significantly from month to month. Average reported attendance in April is 42% greater than in November.
Baptisms and professions of faith during 2016 was our second highest number ever recorded and oddly totaled exactly 500. There were 320 baptisms and 180 professions of faith. This is a rate of 5.08% compared to membership. Church membership increased by 276 in 2016, ending the year at 9,834. Note that the baptisms/POF number is different from the membership increase because of things like: transfers to other conferences, deaths, removals, etc.
Even with these occurrences which reduce our membership number, the Conference grew by 2.9%. The glory goes to God. His people cooperate with Him. We expect to see the Conference cross the 10,000-member mark sometime in 2017. And while we like to see our membership grow, it is our hope that there will be 10,000 disciples rather than just 10,000 members.
Justin Lyons, President
e-TNL Staff: Savannah B. Carlson, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
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