Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Year End Reports - Moving Towards Perfection

Thank you all for your comments and I have decided to go with the 84 number. You all were correct that even though it shows a drop from last year, this is the actual number. Going with the actual number will provide good information in the years to follow.

You comments and Shane’s comments got me thinking about the numbers we report. The District and Conference has to have something to judge ministries by and these numbers do show certain things but do they miss others.

What do we learn about a church, with an average attendance of 120, 340 on roll, and hasn’t had a baptism in three years? This does give us some insights to what is happening just by looking at the numbers. It could be that this is an older congregation and is having a hard time welcoming and attracting younger families. But is this the only thing it tells us? What else do we learn or what is missing?

What other information would benefit District Superintendents and Bishops to truly get a picture of what is happening in local congregations? Can we put a number on some of the things that happen in ministry? Can you place a number of the amount of people who were touched by pastoral care? Funeral services? Powerful newsletter articles?

Royce Reynolds said, “You have to be able to measure everything in order to see if it successful.” Year End Reports are suppose to do this but are they lacking key information? How could they be improved?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great questions, Jim. I've been struggling a bit recently with - to use a business term - 'metrics' to use.

I'm all for qualitative assessment of church health, but numbers are good, too. Figuring out what to measure and why is the tricky part.

One clear answer is not to count the things that are easy to count simply because they are easy to count. You need a better reason than that.