Characteristics of Vital Congregations

Ministry effectiveness may be evaluated based on eight characteristics of a healthy congregation:

  1. Worship attendance - How does your church's worship attendance relate to what's happening to the population of your community? In a declining community, stable worship attendance is a success. In a growing community, declining attendance is not success.
  2. Professions of faith - How many people, other than the members of the confirmation class, came to Christ through profession of faith?
  3. Social action - Is your church involved in social action projects appropriate to your community?
  4. Sunday school attendance - Are the people attending worship connected to a small group experience like Sunday school where they are fed or feeding others spiritually?
  5. Growing dollars - Is the church spending more each year in ministry?
  6. Growing percentage for mission - Is the church spending more each year on being in mission outside the congregation?
  7. M&M's paid in full - Is the church paying its full commitment to the connectional mission of the church?
  8. Commitment to excellence - Are we giving our best to the Lord in service in all aspects of our ministry?


A vital congregation has:

  • Inviting and inspiring worship
  • Engaged disciples in mission and outreach
  • Gifted, equipped and empowered lay leadership
  • Effective, equipped and inspired clergy leadership
  • Small groups
  • Strong children’s programs and youth ministry

From the "A Call to Action" report.