Reggie McNeal has me thinking about what we measure. In an interview about his new book, Missional Renaissance, we states:
I wanted to help leaders develop a scorecard that rewarded their missional efforts. The church growth era certainly had a scorecard (one that we are still using) that declared winners and losers at that game. We
need a scorecard that gives expression to the multi-dimensional facets of the missional church.
My experience with the church growth era scorecard is the classic ABC's - Attendance, Buildings, Cash. This is what we as a body measure and publish. Each congregation's attendance (worship and Sunday School) and annual budget is recorded and shared at Presbytery, online, and in conversations everywhere. Certainly this is how the media talks about our church, in terms of declining members. But I don't blame the media, because they learned it from us.
What if we changed the scorecard? What would you measure? I belong to a downtown church. San Antonio has one of the highest rates of homeless children in the country. What if we measured how many children are in stable homes because we exist as a church? What if we focus on that number?
The scorecard would be hard to compare because what is measured would be unique to each congregation. Small, large, city, rural - each church is unique with a particular calling to serve its community. And maybe that is where it gets tricky. How would we assess per capita, determine delegates to governing bodies, and such?
Maybe we should try and find out. Maybe when we focus on being the church in our community the rest will follow. That may sound naive, but I would like to try. I would like to belong to a church that measures our impact for the Kingdom instead of our collective worth in property, cash, and membership.
What do you think? How can we change the scorecard?