Each of us as pastors and church leaders has been clearly called by God to shepherd, lead, and grow His sheep. How do we know if we are being effective faithful shepherds? How do we know that we are being intentional and staying on track and on His task? How do we guard against just doing church instead of being His church on His mission? These are questions that all of us as pastors struggle with, which is a good thing.
It is so easy to be sidetracked or derailed by good things that should be done but could be done by others; by personal and family issues; by this new approach or that new program; by the agendas of others; and by the ‘tyranny of the urgent.’ It is also so easy to be overwhelmed by the enormous task of reaching all people.
What can we do to be more intentional as faithful stewards of His mission?
Our annual meetings with their reports of attendance, giving, programs, and facilities show the amount of activity happening in and through our church family. But do they help us stay on His task of making disciples who make disciples and reach the mission field He has planted us in? When I was a pastor, many times these reports became a justification for the ministry—and only annually. They were not a tool to help me make sure our ministry was accomplishing Christ’s mission.
How do we know if we are reaching the lost, making disciples who make disciples, and developing leaders? How do we know if we are helping people grow in their love of God and others? How do we know if they are engaging in healthy body life and ministering in their networks of relationships? The list goes on. In fact, this list will be unique to each church. But I think it is very important that each pastor and leadership team determine what and how they will keep track of since it will help the church be more intentional and will assist them in ministering to and leading their church.
Since we desire to make sure these ministries are occurring in our church, what do we need to measure that will help us? How will we evaluate them? And how often do we need to see a report to help us stay focused? Would you share with us what you are doing to be effective in your ministry? What ministry outcomes are you desiring and how are you measuring them? If you don’t currently use a tool to assess the effectiveness of your ministry, I urge you to consider creating a “church dashboard,” a tool that assists in evaluating different ministries of your choice, in one summary view (www.enterprise-dashboard.com/church-metrics-dashboard/).
Let me make it very clear that ministry is not about reports. Our ministry is about making disciples who will make disciples who are reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Making reports will not fulfill His mission in Minnesota where less than 20.7% of Minnesotans attend a Christian church on any given week. Reports are only tools to make sure we are intentionally doing what we are called to do: His task as His faithful under-shepherds.
So tell us what kind of “dashboard” you are keeping an eye on. Leave a comment on this blog.