Lower response clouds 2013 statistics for congregations

Comments (7)
  1. Keith Schweitzet says:

    I think if you developed a computer based statistical report rather than paper, the percentage of congregations reporting would improve. It would be very helpful for me.

    1. D. Scott Kostencki says:


      Thank you for your interest in making the process better. Beginning with the collection of the 2012 statistics, the Rosters and Statistics Department (RS) stopped mailing paper statistics forms, except to those congregations that request one. Instead, congregations receive a link to a web-based reporting tool.

      Since congregations are free to collect and store their information through the year with whatever software (or in paper records) they choose, RS provides a printable worksheet on the site that helps them record their figures in the way it is reported to the LCMS on this new web-based form.

      God’s Blessings!
      D. Scott Kostencki – Manager, Rosters and Statistics

  2. Gretchen Ahrens says:

    I am also wondering why this is all output data. I know it is far easier to measure outputs than outcomes, but outputs don’t really show the progress/success made. I would be far more interested in the outcome data.

    1. D. Scott Kostencki says:


      You are correct that objective statistics such as these are only one part of a larger picture. The purpose of this article annually is to report the summary of what was collected from congregations the previous year. These are used in various ways, including representation at LCMS district and national conventions, ministry resource planning, and understanding important trends in the church. They are also used by various ministry areas as they perform deeper analysis into outcome data and to help find leading indicators that may be situational.

      God’s Blessings!
      D. Scott Kostencki – Manager, Rosters and Statistics

    2. Al Axelson says:

      I might not fully understand your concept of output data versus outcome data. I’ve understood that output is a measure of what is put into the effort. As such, I think that the numbers do represent the outcome measurement of the total effort (output) of the collective set of congregations.

      I’m more concerned about the strange manner in which the Baptized, Confirmed, and Attendance numbers are reported in the article. They are treated differently from one another. Hopefully I’ll be able to contact someone within the IC to get my questions answered. Enough said about that until I learn more.


  3. Traci Roberts says:

    It can be electronic if the church uses Church 360 management software. Available from – Concordia, can transfer over Shepherd Staff (at a $).

  4. Al Axelson says:

    Thank you for rewording the article. This online version now more accurately presents the average attendance numbers; even though it still compares the results of average attendance of two different sets of congregations between the two years.