Yesterday I attended a conference in Kansas City to learn some helpful practices for ministry. Most of these events are great opportunities to expand my thinking and challenge my assumptions in Church leadership. This one exceeded my expectations, and I returned home with a notebook full of comments, ideas, and applications.
One of the pieces of helpful information was found in a ten-minute discussion of Church metrics. What does a Church measure to find out if it is helping people to grow in their walk with Jesus? The speaker explained that their Church measures four primary areas to discover if people are fully engaged with Jesus.
*Attendance – While this is not a ministry measurement, it gives them a baseline from which to work. For example, the shepherd in Luke 15 knew he had 100 sheep total, but only 99 were counted at the end of the day. We need to know how many people we have attended before we can measure their engagement.
1. Serving. What is the percentage of people are serving both inside and outside of the Church? This could include everything from greeters to worship leaders, but also people who help with Meals on Wheels and at the local food pantry. People who are fully engaged with Jesus will be serving.
2. Giving. How many givers does a congregation have in its gatherings? They determined that a regular giver is anyone who gives over four times a year or gives over $3500 total. These people have thought about their donations enough to have a plan or at least a budget. One of the marks of a follower of Jesus is that they are generous with their money through the Church.
3. Inviting. This is the hardest one to measure. His congregation places surveys on each seat with a few questions. One side of the question card says, “Attended for more than a year” and the other side reads, “Attended less than a year.” Underneath it asks questions like this, “have you invited anyone to Church lately? Did those invitations help you actually bring anyone to worship with you? What could we do to help you bring your friends to Church.” Believers should be excited about their faith and work to reach everyone they know.
4. Grouping. The speaker admitted this was not the best word, but it fit his overall format. The fundamental question is, “what percentage of attendees are involved in small groups?” If you are walking with Jesus, you need companions on the journey.
As he worked through the list, my immediate thought was about the Church I lead. Am I doing a good job of helping people get fully engaged with Jesus? What can our Church do better to help people on this journey?
My second thought was more personal, “How am I doing?” If these are the right areas to measure to better understand a growing faith, then how am I doing as a believer? Am I serving more as I get older? Am I giving more? Am I still inviting people to Church and to follow Jesus? Am I purposely connecting myself to other people?
Am I fully engaged with Jesus as his follower? These may not be the only things worth measuring, but it is a good place to start. And I want to start with me.