Local Church Ministry

Metric Mondays: Small Group Assimilation Rate

Metric Mondays is a weekly post that highlights a different metric that can be used to assist churches to measure the health and effectiveness of their church’s ministries. For more on why metrics matter, click here.

This Week’s Metric: Small Group Assimilation Rate

Why It Matters:

According to research from Thom Rainer, folks who get connected to a small group (Sunday School class, discipleship group, etc.) in a church are 5 times more likely to stay connected to the church than those who only attend a worship service. Similarly, people stay in church when they get involved, and one of the best ways to get involved is in the context of groups.

So, if you want to know the percentage of your church that is more likely to be connected through meaningful relationships and ministry, you need to know how many of your worship attenders are also attending a small group.

How It’s Calculated:

The calculation is a simple percentage:

Weekly Small Group Attendance / Weekly Worship Attendance = Small Group Assimilation Rate

How To Interpret It:

The higher the percentage, the greater likelihood that folks are connected and serving in your church. The lower the percentage, the less likely folks are connected and serving in your church.

The average SBC church (sorry, I don’t have access to other denominational stats) has around two-thirds (67%) of their worship attenders also attending Sunday School. Given the fact that the majority of churches are plateaued or declining, you should probably set a goal for your church that is higher than the baseline of 67%.

How To Track It:

With only two numbers in the calculation, you need to make sure that you are tracking both. You simply need to have a mechanism to count your total Sunday School attendance each week as well as your total worship attendance.


People who get connected in a small group are much more likely to develop meaningful relationships and to stick around in a church. If church leaders are not intentional in leading worship attenders to connect in a group, they may not be attending in the future.

If your church effectively moves people from worship attendance to attending a small group, please comment below to share how you are doing so. There are many other church leaders who could benefit from your wisdom and experience!

Every number tells a story. What is your church’s Small Group Assimilation Rate telling you?

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