The May issue of the newsletter for the Equipping Network in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches has been released. Below is a portion of the newsletter. Click here to read the complete newsletter or to subscribe.
I value my sleep. I dedicate a third of my life to the activity. But I refuse to wear a sleep monitor. I don’t need data to tell me how rewarding my sleep was the night before; the drool on my pillow paints a good enough picture.
Not all metrics are created equal; not all data are equally helpful.
Regardless, in the digital age, we tend to reduce our lives to quantifiable points: steps, calories, and sleeping hours. The church is not immune to the tracking trend. We count attendance, financial contributions, and volunteer hours. This is nothing new. In ages past, the apostles counted converts (Acts 2) and King David numbered fighting men (2 Samuel 24).
Tracking itself is not the problem. What stunts the church is deriving value from misleading metrics. According to Os Guinness, we measure quantity instead ofquality: “[Metrics] tell us about the externals of religion and say nothing about the heart” (Renaissance, 43). Because most metrics fail to inspect the more elusive markers of Christian maturity (think fruit of the Spirit), Guinness fears the church will prefer “decisions rather than discipleship, bandwagon rather than Bible, and performance rather than relationship” (ibid., 44).
When we clearly track attendance, participation, and budgets, but havefew metrics for spiritual maturity, our value for performance and popularity seems to outweigh our call to raise people to their full potential in Christ (Ephesians 4:13-16): the ultimate win for Equipping Churches.
So what’s a church leader to do? Scrap metrics altogether? Certainly not! Equipping Churches make use of metrics. They measure maturity.
Click here to read the complete newsletter or to subscribe.