How many people “go” to your church?

This is an interesting array of numbers.

On any given Sunday, about 450 people are counted. That means they’re sitting in the auditorium ten or fifteen minutes into the sermon.

So I wondered where the folks are coming up with 700. And where we are getting 80-120 youth. So I started counting. I went through the directory, which includes all our members. We have 761 people listed. Everyone who is going to college somewhere is still listed as a member. So I’d say we probably have at least 30 less. I didn’t count college people separately.

But I did count 6th through 12th graders. They’re in our youth ministy program. We’ve been saying we have 120. So I decided I would see how many we actually have. We have 95 listed members in the phone book. Now there is at least one who is not in the phone book, Skyler. She comes but her mother doesn’t. And I wouldn’t be surprised to find that we have four or five who are like that. Certainly no more than that though. So at the most we have 100 youth group. That’s close to the number we’re saying, high but close.

However, we say we have 800+ on our website. We only have 761 in our phone book. And we only have ~450 on Sunday.

So we’re overinflating our numbers somewhere.

It seems very unlikely that we have 300 people absent on one Sunday and a different 300 absent on another. I think it is much more likely that some of those people come once a year or so, Christmas and Easter. Maybe we should differentiate between members and attendees.