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Beyond Average Sunday Attendance (ASA)
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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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