electronic scoreboardThe axioms says what gets measured gets done and to a large extent that’s true.  So if you’re starting a church (or leading one) it matters what you measure.  Seemingly for decades churches were content to count two, maybe three things – attendance, offerings and decisions.  The problem isn’t that these are bad things to count, they just aren’t all of the things that could or should be measured in order to grow a healthy church.  Here are three kinds of things to measure and why.

Tactical Measurements
Tactics are the actions by which goals and objectives are accomplished.  Measuring certain actions or activities helps you do them more efficiently, effectively or both.  For example, most new churches have a website.  Are you measuring how many people visit it? What information they look for?  How many messages they listen to? Especially how many people visit your church after visiting your website?  Measuring these things will enable you to improve your website over time to accomplish what you want it to.

When you start listing all the actions that could be measured you’ll quickly realize even a new church has hundreds of potential measures.  Counting for counting sake is a waste of limited time, talent and money.  Only measure what you will actually use to make decisions about future actions.  You probably don’t want to put these measurements on your strategic scorecard either – you’ll just clutter it with lots of numbers that are distracting from what’s really important.  Instead, create tactical scorecards for strategic activities that are used by those leading them.

Strategic Measurements
Strategy is your plan for accomplishing your mission.  Strategic measurements tell you whether or not your strategy is working.  For example, you may have a strategy to connect everyone into a small group.  Are you measuring how many people you have and how many small groups you have?  You’ll obviously need enough groups to have room for everyone or your strategy won’t work.  There are other measures that will be critical as well such as how many people connect into a small group each month?  Or, how many new leaders are in training?

In this case, your strategy determines what you measure. Just ask, what measurements will tell us if we are making progress on our strategy?  Then create a scorecard that you update and review at least monthly.

Value Measurements
Values are the expression of what is essential to be the church you believe God has called you to be.  Rarely, are values expressed in terms that can easily be counted.  For example, you might value living Biblically. You can’t count that and thus most values become nothing more than platitudes.  They shouldn’t.  These are the things you’ve said it’s most important for your church to become.  Instead of just counting stats, start collecting stories.  If someone is living Biblically, someone else is going to see it.  Start asking the question often, who has seen someone living Biblically?  Ask the question in your leadership meeting.  Ask the question in your small groups.  Teach people to ask the question of themselves.  Instead of a spreadsheet, create a storybook – a place to collect the stories that are evidence we are becoming who we said we wanted to be.

How are you measuring tactics, strategies and values?