measurements that count
When I was a beginning pastor, sometimes I would go over to the church and edge and sweep the walks. Not because they were in bad shape, but at least it gave me a sense of having accomplished something. That is sometimes the problem with ministry--it is hard to measure and hard to know if you are making any kind of progress. We try to measure our effectiveness. Usually we look at the big two:
But those often don't reflect the actual vitality of church life. Churches can be very sound financially, but dying. A church can be very vital, but never have enough money. Over the next couple of weeks, we'd like to share some other measurements that might make a big difference in how you perceive the progress of your ministry. Some of them are subjective so it will help to discuss them with a group to help evaluate whether there is actual progress.
growth in biblical understanding:
Is biblical literacy growing or diminishing in our church? Are people sharing their thinking with biblical references? Are more people regularly engaging in some kind of Bible study? Is there any measurement of what children & youth are learning in Bible study? Is there any kind of Bible study expectancy related to leader choices?
Are people learning what their spiritual gifts are? Do we use a gift assessment? Are people being asked to serve based on their gifts? Are people being burned out regularly because they are serving in areas in which they have no spiritual gift?
Is there an increase in the number of people who participate in special outreach offerings, mission-type events, soup kitchen service, serving at the church? Are people being asked to serve with appropriate understanding of what will be required of them?
Is there an increase in the number of people who are comfortable leading public prayer? Do people participate actively in prayer events? Is there active participation in a prayer chain? Is prayer a natural (not forced) part of group and meeting life? Do people ever think to stop an important meeting to take time to pray. Are there intentional efforts to pray for church events?
Even if you don't have an assessment tool to measure the things mentioned, a healthy, productive discussion can help you assess where you are and what needs tweaking.
Watch for more next week!