For me it has to be a combination of both: you can tell if things are going well or not by the number of youngsters who are attending – you have to question if you are doing something wrong if you suddenly went from 30 young people at a group to 5 people at the group each week. But it isn’t just about that, there has to be a measurement of depth of relationship with God, or where they are on their journey. In a previous church where I worked they used to scale each of the young people on a rating of 1 to 4 to highlight where most of the young people were in the group, and how they could therefore support them in furthering their relationship with God. While it is still fairly crude, and used to lead to discussions on how, with 1 hour of contact a week for some of the youngsters, we could make that choice, I think it brought a sharpness and focus to the groups that I long to see.
As the summer holidays approach it is the kind of thing that I hope to develop some thinking on, with the possibility of being able to implement some kind of measuring – both numbers and depth for next academic year.