How to estimate church attendence

It’s a complex thing to measure church attendance but here are a few pointers on arriving at an accurate number based on the attendance figures they give you.

– 50% if its a Pentecostal worship service because they count the legs and forget to divide by two.

– 30% if its a Baptist church because they count members on the roll and not all of them are still living.

+ 10 if its a Vineyard service because those rugs on the floor were actually people!

+ 20% if it’s a fundamentalist church because they don’t count the people they didn’t want there.

– 30% if it’s an Anglican/Presbyterian/Methodist church because the number they gave you is from their huge Easter service.

+ 15% if it’s an ethnic/non-western service because all those people coming late missed the counting.

– 10% if its a megachurch because the worship team and welcome team got counted during all 5 services.

– 520% if its a Catholic church because they count the parish, not the church attendance.

+ 20% if it’s an emergent service because those having a smoke outside were not counted.

– 25 % if its a Reformed church service because they count the people who SHOULD have been there.

– 15% if it’s a house church because the neighborhood kids playing video games in the back room somehow managed to get counted with everyone else. So did the guy delivering pizza.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


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