What is your church’s scorecard? If you want to know how you’re doing at making disciples, you need to consider micro vs macro church metrics.
For years churches have been measuring things at the macro (congregational) level. While that’s important and should be part of the scorecard, Willow’s now almost 10-year old Reveal study bravely admitted, “Does increased attendance in ministry programs automatically equate to spiritual growth? To be brutally honest: it does not.” Macro metrics tend to measure church programs and congregational health.
Micro metrics attempt to quantify an individual’s spiritual growth.
The first step toward defining micro church metrics is to consider what a mature follower of Christ looks like. What are you calling people toward? What is the kind of disciple you’re trying to produce?
Here are some example from other churches:
- Willow Community Church’s own Five G’s: grace, growth, groups, gifts & good stewardship
- Community Christian Church’s Three C’s: celebrate, connect & contribute
- Verve describes the kind of people they want to be: God stalkers, grace wholesalers & guerrilla lovers
Keep it short and hit the hi-lites. If you only have 2-3 years to help someone grow spiritually before they move on from your church, what are the 3-5 most important things? You’re trying to create easy handles/on-ramps for people to understand what maturity looks like.
Just don’t photocopy these churches’ hard work.
Find the Measurable
Sometimes a mark of maturity you choose will be difficult to measure. I’m sure Willow has it nailed, but how would you go about measuring someone’s “growth”? Fuzzy.
We can only count what is observable. In most cases on the individual level that equates to a behavior. Of course behaviors can be faked, but mostly they’re an outward manifestation what’s going on inside. What would the evidence look like if you’re sitting back in your chair trying to decide if one of your people is [insert metric here] or not?
Lastly, find something that’s reasonably easy to count so that you can balance the administrative burden against the value of the information you’re getting.
Weave it Together
You’ll find that if you can figure out the micro measures and begin quantifying them, the macro measures will largely be the sum of the individuals’ micro measures.
For instance, if participation in a small group is a key behavior you’re driving, then having small group leaders track attendance will give them a picture over time of the individual’s participation (micro). And when you compile all of that data, you can quickly figure out what percentage of your congregation is participating in small groups (macro).
This process should also force you to build your systems and activities to give each individual the best chance for growing in the ways you’ve identified. Because if your ministries and systems are producing an entirely different result, then what are you doing?