Do you have a good feel for how healthy and effective your church is? Are you looking for a good, objective, data-based way to gauge how your church is doing (measuring qualities other than size, rate of growth, size of budget, etc.)?
An innovative new health and church effectiveness and leadership study is being launched this fall in Grace Brethren churches around the U.S. All FGBC-related churches whose lead or senior pastor has been in place at least three years is invited to participate.
The term “transformational” is being used much more frequently as Bible-based churches seek to help people transform their own lives to be more Christ-like and also to impact their communities in a more transformational way. This research study uses a newly-developed, thoroughly-tested, empirically sound instrument to measure a church’s relative effectiveness in seven areas: worship, mission, community, mission mentality, relational intentionality, vibrant leadership, and prayerful dependence. Churches of any size can use the rich data output from the study in their future planning, budgeting, and setting of priorities.
The lead researcher is Terry White, publisher at BMH books and a member of the steering committee for the Leadership Development arm of the EVLC effort to implement the Commitment to Common Mission developed in Germany in 2008 and now widely adopted by churches, the FGBC, and national organizations. The Leadership Development team is organized and led by Tom Julien of Winona Lake, Ind., and Mike Yoder of Columbus, Ohio.
Regarding the study, one Grace Brethren pastor said, “We are sensing we are in a new season of ministry here in certain regards, so this would seem timely from my perspective and of course helpful. “ Another says, “I am totally convinced that one of the biggest weaknesses in the church in the West is the overwhelming lack of substantive research to base some of our movements and directions upon. I think the Holy Spirit is good with such things.”
Sue Mallory, in her recent book on “The Equipping Church,” observed, “During the tumultuous years between 1960 and 1980, some remarkable changes came about in the way pastors functioned in our society. In the 60s the title ‘pastor’ still meant someone who primarily preached the Word, taught the doctrines, and looked after ‘the flock.’ By the end of the 80s, the church growth movement had added the roles of ‘vision caster’ and ‘chief executive officer’ to the pastor’s job description. These new subtitles meant that the pastor had to be a preacher, a shepherd, and a professional leader” (p. 56).
If your church is interested in investigating further whether participation in the study would be helpful at this time, e-mail Terry White at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him at (574) 268-1122 for a complete FAQ file that will answer many questions about how the study is being conducted.