(This is part 3 of a 7 part series. You can read part 1 right here)
I’ve been at this a while. Maybe you have too! All I know is, with over 25 years of small group ministry experience I’ve learned a thing or two. And guess what? If I knew way back then what I know now, I’d have a different way of looking at a lot of things!
For example, one thing I would definitely look at differently would be the way I defined success. How so? Well, for starters I wouldn’t call a certain number of groups “success.” And before you even begin to get worked up, I also wouldn’t call a certain number of people in groups, a certain number of apprentice leaders or coaches “success” either. Nope, if I were starting today and knew what I know…I’d definitely define success differently.
What would I call success?
So, what would I call “success”? Easy. And hard work at the same time. I’d spend time thinking about what it is that I want to produce, identify a way of measuring it, and set up a scorecard to keep track. Let’s break those three ideas down.
First, I’d think about what it is that I want to produce.
First, I’d think about what it is that I want to produce. I’d want my product to be men and women who love extravagantly, give generously, and serve selflessly. For me, off the cuff, that’s a pretty good short list. Of course, you can see that every church should really have its own criteria.
Can you see that I’d plug all of these things into the way I’m describing my preferred future? You could do this too!
Second, I’d identify a way of measuring what I produced.
Second, I’d identify a way of measuring how effectively we’re producing what we’re trying to produce. I’d have to define “extravagantly,” but once I had the definition then I could set up a way to quantify that trait. Not only that, but I’d be able to measure periodically and see movement.
Can you see the things I’m describing are really the lead measures that predict arrival at the preferred future?
Third, I’d set up a scorecard
Third, I’d set up a scorecard to keep track of progress. With carefully identified lead measures, it would not be difficult to track on a scorecard.
Need some examples? How about tracking group members who served in a set of out-of-the-norm opportunities (homeless shelters, foster services, after-school mentoring, etc.) or gave generously (to a special cause or above and beyond last quarter’s donations).
Fourth, if I did set up a scorecard
Fourth, if I did set up a scorecard, I could even adjust my weekend teaching calendar and small group curriculum to work on areas or that need to be developed.
Can you see how adjusting the weekend teaching calendar and small group curriculum could help move small group members in the right direction?
Why would I do this differently?
Why would I do this differently? Easy. Measuring the number of groups, people in groups, apprentices, or coaches doesn’t actually tell me whether I’ve created the optimum environment for life-change to happen. Much as I like knowing whether I’m adding groups and connecting a higher percentage of my congregation, that’s nothing more than increasing the size of my delivery system. At the end of the day, the delivery system itself has to deliver the right things. That’s what I want to measure. And that’s what will determine what I call “success.”
This is part 3 of a 7 part series. You can read part 4 right here.
Image by ThoroughlyReviewed