So last time we talked about the idea that “Butts in Seats” and “Decisions for Christ” may not be the best way to measure the success of the local church. And I proposed that we should focus not on church growth, but rather on discipleship as a way of determining the degree to which a given church is being “successful” in fulfilling the Great Commission. However, in that post, I stopped short of proposing an better metric (or metrics). Well now that I’ve had some time to think this over a bit, here is a first crack at a list of better metrics:
- What percentage of our people are intentionally discipling at least one other person?
- What percentage of our people are currently being discipled by a more mature follower of Christ?
- What percentage of our people are regularly involved in a small group?
- What percentage of our people have shared the good news, witnessed about Christ or shared their testimony in the last week, last month, last year?
- What percentage of our people have planted seeds, developed a relationship with an unbeliever, or offered to pray for someone, with the explicit intention of reaching those who aren’t currently following Jesus?
- How many people in our church are currently considering planting a church?
- How many people in our church are currently being trained (in the pipeline) to plant a church, or be sent out on mission?
- What percentage of our people attend weekly corporate worship more than 75% of the time?
- What percentage of our people have some form of regular, recurring prayer life (beyond just saying grace at meals)?
- What percentage of our people have developed a regular, recurring discipline of Bible reading?
- What percentage of our people have experienced a significant “breakthrough” in a relationship, finances, overcoming sin, deliverance from bondage, forgiveness, healing, fear, etc. in the past year?
Well, OK, there we have 11 (possible) metrics that could be gathered in, say an annual congregational survey (instead of a weekly “head count”). I’ve tried to cover the four elements of Bible, prayer, worship and fellowship (Acts 2:42, 46-47), as well as elements of disciple making, outreach / evangelism / mission, and sanctification.
What do you think? Did I miss anything? Am I off my rocker? What would your list look like? Or how would you implement tracking these types of metrics in a local church setting? Is there a better way to capture this type of data instead of a survey? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.