I have this conversation all the time (and you probably do too). Particularly when a change initiative is in the works and at least a few of the architects or caretakers of a legacy system are still at large.
I love a couple treasured lines from favorite wordsmiths:
“Every company is in the process of becoming an anachronism, irrelevant to the future, or the harbinger of the future.” Gary Hamel
When I read this line I long to be a harbinger of the future.
“There are always two parties, the party of the past and the party of the future; the establishment and the movement.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I read this line I deeply desire to be part of the movement.
Whether you long to be a harbinger of the future or deeply desire to be part of a movement...you must learn to truly evaluate the effectiveness of ministry system, models or strategies.
Whether you long to be a harbinger of the future or deeply desire to be part of a movement...you must learn to truly evaluate the effectiveness of ministry system, models or strategies. Click To Tweet
How do you truly evaluate the effectiveness of ministry system, models or strategies?
First, we need to agree on a couple terms:
- Effective: "Producing a result that is wanted. Having an intended effect." Clearly...this definition explicitly indicates a result or effect that was determined in advance.
- True: "Being in accordance with fact or reality." Not wishful thinking, rose-colored glasses, or "ministerially speaking."
Second, in order to truly evaluate the effectiveness of a small group systems we'd need to:
A. Agree in advance about the desired results.
For example, it has long been my ambition to have more adults in groups than our average adult weekend worship attendance. This is shaped in large part by my belief that since people are attending less frequently, the average adult weekend worship attendance isn't an accurate reflection of the size of our crowd (let alone our congregation).
B. Fairly and objectively examine the results.
By taking an annual (or semi-annual) snapshot of our true percentage connected (number of adults connected) divided by the number of adults at our Easter or Christmas Eve services we can know whether we are gaining ground or losing ground.
C. Be good stewards of the opportunity and take personal responsibility for the results.
A good steward keeps track of the inventory. They know that there is a window of opportunity for every person. They take personal responsibility for the many and the one. They know that every number has a name.
D. Make adjustments in our system to:
- Optimize what is right
- Fix what is wrong
- Clarify what is confused
- Add what is missing
Want to be a harbinger? Long to be part of a movement? Commit yourself (and your team) to a true evaluation of the effectiveness of your ministry system, model or strategy.
- Four Essentials of Execution: Plan, Rehearse, Evaluate and Adjust
- Orchestrate and Evaluate Everything
- 4 Questions that Evaluate Small Group Ministry Effectiveness
- 10 Questions that Will Help Evaluate Your Small Group Ministry
Image by Ricardo Cuppini