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Over the years of being a paid professional within the church—as a youth pastor, senior pastor, and church planter—the number one question that I would always dread getting would be the infamous: “How many people are you running?”

This week when Kurt & Josh began posting about numbers and the comparison game, my skin started to crawl. I was so fearful to see how you, the youth ministry nation, would respond. My fears were quickly
squashed when I started seeing the responses! They were incredibly healthy. It was uber comforting to see that you, like me, believe that numbers are not the primary way to judge spiritual health or ministry success.

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Still using old-school spreadsheets to track attendance? It’s time to upgrade.
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But, I also completely understand that numbers are a very important metric that we must pay attention to. I would venture to say that some reading this, including myself at one time, hated reporting on numbers because I was fearful that others would try to justify my pay or position based upon them.

But gang, I know we would all stack hands and say in a unified voice that “every person matters to Jesus so why don’t we try to keep track of them?” The whole point of taking attendance and tracking who is it what event is not so it can be some stat at our church council meeting. Rather, it’s a tool to help us understand who is in the room—or better yet, who is missing from the room.

My work now is spent serving youth workers and creating resources to help them manage their youth ministry, which the Simply Youth Ministry “Events” TOOL does really well. I’m happy to say that the “Events” TOOL is not only an amazing resource because it helps manage your events and track your
attendance. But it helps put a face to the name or number that we are trying to track. This TOOL specifically goes after the relational side of ministry. It’s strategic follow-up with that specific name or number.

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Still using old-school spreadsheets to track attendance? It’s time to upgrade.
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My challenge to you would be: You need to track numbers in your ministry. Not so that we can gloat or feel bummed out that you didn’t hit certain goals, but rather so we can be faithful with what God has provided to us. Those numbers represent individuals. Individuals whom Jesus desperately wants to minister to. God is counting you worthy to follow up with those numbers. Are you being faithful?

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