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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
The Rev. Tim Schenck, rector of St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, Mass., looks for God amid domestic chaos
Beyond Average Sunday Attendance (ASA)
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About this blog
Tim Schenck is an Episcopal priest, husband to Bryna, father to Benedict and Zachary, and \x34master\x34 to Delilah (about 50 in dog years). Since 2009 I've been the rector of the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, Mass. (on the ...
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Father Tim
Tim Schenck is an Episcopal priest, husband to Bryna, father to Benedict and Zachary, and \x34master\x34 to Delilah (about 50 in dog years). Since 2009 I've been the rector of the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, Mass. (on the South Shore of Boston). I've also served parishes in Maryland and New York. When I'm not tending to my parish, hanging out with my family, or writing, I can usually be found drinking good coffee -- not that drinking coffee and these other activities are mutually exclusive. I hope you'll visit my website at www.frtim.com to find out more about me, read some excerpts from my book \x34What Size are God's Shoes: Kids, Chaos & the Spiritual Life\x34 (Morehouse, 2008), and check out some recent sermons.
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computer prayerIn all the talk about church growth and new ways of doing church, there’s one statistic that’s impossible to quantify: the number of people impacted by a parish’s online ministry.
For some time now, the gold standard for measuring church growth has been Average Sunday Attendance (ASA). Go to any clergy conference and you’ll hear rectors tossing out their ASAs with great bravado. The assumption, of course, is that size matters and bigger is better. Though, if their ASA is dropping, you’ll hear the classic corollary: “It’s not about the numbers.”
In reality, ASA as a standard unit of measurement is a relatively recent phenomenon. For generations ”communicants in good standing” was the normative measure of a congregation’s size. The national canons of the Episcopal Church still use this term, though it’s fallen out of contemporary usage.

Canon 1.17.2–4
Sec. 2 (a) All members of this Church who have received Holy Communion in this Church at least three times during the preceding year are to be considered communicants of this Church.
Sec. 3. All communicants of this Church who for the previous year have been faithful in corporate worship, unless for good cause prevented, and have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God, are to be considered communicants in good standing.

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