This week I have been at Bishops’ Conference (formerly Bishops’ Week) on Mt. Sequoyah in Fayetteville, Arkansas. With Gil Rendle’s leadership, we have continued Extended Cabinet work on the theme “Leading in a Radically Changing Church.” Among many items, we are wrestling with the role of metrics in helping both congregations and pastors in faithfulness and fruitfulness. Some clear learnings about the role of metrics (measurements) are emerging:
- A system gets what it measures!
- If we don’t know what we produce (outcomes), we don’t know how to measure it.
- If we don’t know what we want, we measure the wrong things.
- Non-profits (including churches!!) often don’t know what they produce (outcomes); therefore, they measure resources (inputs) and activities (throughputs). (Deming, Collins, et. al.).
- Outcome = what will be different (changed) in 3 to 5 years if we are fruitful.
- Systems are built backwards; without an outcome you can’t build the system.
- What have we done?
- What are we working on?
- What do we still have to do?