I just finished up an article for the Christian Standard titled, “Golf Scores & Dashboards: Keeping Track of How the Church is Doing”. It is basically a rant about how most churches only keep score by attendance and offering. While those are important numbers, they certainly don’t tell the whole story or all that church leaders need to know about Jesus being formed in the life of the people of their church. At Community and through our NewThing Network we have developed a dashboard (that we are still working to get right) that goes beyond attendance and offering and keeps track of the following:
- 3C Christ Followers: We want to know how many people and the percentage of our people who are growing in the spiritual experiences of celebrating (weekly part of our celebration service), connecting (doing life together in a small group) and contributing (giving of their giftedness in service and of their finances)? If I could only have one indicator on our dashboard this would be the one! This gauge tells me more about the spiritual health of a person than any other indicator.
- Baptisms – We also want to know how many people are making commitments to become Christ Followers. This was something that was counted in the book of Acts and it counts today, so we count it. This will give you the best indicator of your churches evangelistic temperature.
- Leaders – We also want to know how many people are apprentice leaders, leaders and coaches? This may be unique to the culture of Community but I think it is absolutely critical. This tells you how many small groups you have (leaders); how many potential small groups you have (apprentice leaders) and what your leadership development pipeline looks like. The strength and depth of your leadership tells you how soon you can reproduce a new site or church. Why? Because it’s leaders that facilitate all the small groups for kids, students and adults.
- Artists – We want to know how many artists we have at Community. When we use the term artist, we are using it in a very broad sense to include worship leaders, vocalists, musicians, actors, dancers, painters, videographers, sound and light technicians, etc. Just like with leaders, the strength and depth of your artists tells you how soon you can reproduce a new site or church. Why? Because it is the artists that create and lead all large group worship and celebration events.
- Services & Sites – I want to know that we are reproducing at all levels. I want to know how many services we do on a weekly basis. When we started Community we only had one service at one site. Today we have over 25 services at nine different sites. I want to watch that gauge too.
We know what we want to watch – but the hard part is getting good and consistent data. So we are still working on this both at Community and in our NewThing. Thoughts?