In order to get a sense of the health of our overall economy most of us pay attention to various economic indices such as the job creation index, the housing index, and the various trade and stock market indices. Did you know that there are also Ministry Indices? We have numbers for a lot of things. We pay attention to the new member index, worship attendance index, small group attendance index, and new member engagement index in order to get a sense of the health of our overall church. No single index tells the whole story but each has something to say. Here is one index that speaks loudly this year in spite of sustained worship attendance and increased numbers of people joining our church:


What does this index say and what does it mean?

What this Index says:

  • Approximately a third of our membership households who turn in an Estimate of Giving card (about 300) have been remarkably strong (92% fulfillment) in their support of outreach to people for Christ.

  • Approximately two thirds of our membership households (about 600) who have given with some regularity (non-pledged) or occasionally (loose plate) have been less strong overall, 78% and 87% respectfully, than in the past (based on historical patterns) in support of outreach to people for Christ.

Remember, these are broad trends, not individual reports. Those third quarter Statements of Giving will go out by the middle of October.

What this Index means:

Since this index is an aggregate of well over a thousand individuals, it is impossible to account for what all the numbers mean. However, three observations can be made.

  1. We are running $163,000 below estimated total income based on history. With excellent cost control by staff saving $100,000 to date, we remain at a $61,000 net deficit through August.

  2. If the trends continue, there will be significant cost-reduction for 2019 that will hamper our outreach to people for Christ.

  3. None of this is has to happen.

Like long-range weather forecasts, indices are indicators, not guarantors; only God is.

Therefore I am asking all of us to look hard at God, look hard at all that is good and forward-moving in our church’s outreach to people for Christ, and look hard at our financial faithfulness to both God and our church’s outreach.

What is your giving index? What will be you your next step of faithfulness?

Held with you in the Body of Christ,


Matt Gaston
Lead Pastor