SWID Attendance Policies & Procedures
In an effort to have each church use the same standards in counting attendance, the Southwest Indiana District policy is to figure your year-end average attendance based on forty-nine Sundays. The additional three Sundays, selected at your discretion, are to be considered weather related and should not be figured into your year-end average.
RATIONALE: Weather (snow, ice, cold, etc.) conditions may vary drastically on our district from the north to the south. It is nearly impossible to declare a given Sunday as a weather day district wide. Therefore, each church can select the three Sundays when attendance is affected by weather, and not figure those Sundays in the year end average. It is to be understood that if a service is canceled due to weather conditions, that day should be considered one of your three weather Sundays.
Recognizing that Christmas and Easter are often times for special programs in our churches, there is a need to use the same standards in counting attendance. Each church should count and report attendance figures on these two special occasions as though it were a unified program, even when regular Sunday School classes are held. Christmas Sunday would be the Sunday your main Christmas program is held.
RATIONALE: Christmas and Easter are often times when some churches combine the Sunday School and Worship into one unified service. Churches who have regular Sunday School on these Sundays are not counting the same numbers as churches who have unified services. Therefore, so everyone is reporting like numbers, each church should report as though they held a unified service. (Example” If you have 100 in Sunday school and 200 in worship, you would use the 200 number in figuring both Sunday School and worship attendance.
UNIFIED SERVICE COUNT DEFINITION
Traditionally, a “unified” service has been a time when Sunday School was either shortened or eliminated in order to give more time for an extended morning worship service. At times, a brief summary of the Sunday School lesson has been presented at the beginning of a “unified” service. Therefore, for a “unified” service, one attendance count would be made during the worship service and that number would be reported for both the Sunday School count and the worship service count. (Unified does not mean adding your Sunday School count and your worship count together). Please follow these guidelines when a “unified” service count is asked for.
PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING
Reporting is necessary for both record keeping and for accountability. Though it is not the only way, it is one way of measuring our effectiveness and progress. We can only be accurate in our gathering of district statistics if we have the report of every church on the district.
By the Thursday following the last Sunday of every month, every pastor or Sunday School Superintendent should report online through the district web site.