EVALUATION & A List of Church Growth/Health Measurements (metrics) from My Books

AN OVERVIEW of MEASUREMENT METRICS: In four of my books I have updated and modified a church measurement tool.  You will find a chapter on measurement in each of these books:

Cure for the Common Church, (Wesleyan Publishing House), chapter “Chapter 6: How Does a Church Grow Learners,” pp. 101-123.
> ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 8: Measure 4 Types of Church Growth,” pp. 139-159.
> Growth By Accident, Death By Planning (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 7: Missteps with Evaluation,” pp. 97-108/
> A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps In Your Church (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 10: Evaluate Your Success,” pp. 202-221.

I explain that church growth involves four types of congregational growth.  It is a seriously incorrect assumption to assume church growth is all about numbers.  It is only 1/4 about numbers and 3/4 about the other types of growth mentioned in Acts 2:42-47.  In the New Testament we find…

> Maturation Growth, i.e. growth in maturity,Acts 2:42-43.
> Growth in Unity: Acts 2:44-46.
> Growth in Favor, i.e. among non-Christians, Acts 2:47a.
> Growth in number of salvations, i.e. which God does according to this verse, Acts 2:47b.

For more see … https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/measurement-a-reliable-valid-tool-to-measure-church-growthhealth-organixbook/

VISION & Good/Bad Vision Statements Compared

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 3/15/16.

Clients, students and seminar attendees often ask about what a good vision statement looks like. First let’s define what a vision statement is and then look at good (and bad) examples.

Here is a concise comparison between mission and vision statements.

“Envisioning begins by asking ourselves ‘what do we do?’ (our mission statement) and continues by uncovering, ‘where to we believe God is calling our church to go in the future’ (our vision statement).” 1

Here is a fuller explanation. 2

FIGURE ©Whitesel HOUSE DIVIDED 5.1 Mission & Vision Statement Compared p 107 copy

FIGURE ©Whitesel HOUSE DIVIDED 5.1 Mission & Vision Statement Compared p 107.b

Here are some good and some better examples: 3

The following are sample vision statements that have been generationally shaped to promote a Tri-Gen. format (italics are added here for emphasis):

  • “We want to turn pre-Christian people of all generations into fully devoted followers of Christ, through relevant teaching and up-to-date worship.
  • “To build a caring and compassionate congregation that loves people of all ages into a relationship with Jesus Christ through acts of kindness.”
  • Our vision is to reach all generations within the tri-state area with the Good News through culture-current forms of evangelism, worship, teaching and nurture, and to work with other congregations to accomplish these goals.
  • To provide for (city) a Christian fellowship offering teaching and worship opportunities geared to each generation, while respecting our differences and exalting our Lord.
  • The vision of (church name) is to present Christ to the people of (city) in a caring and creative way, that will make disciples of all ages; while offering them a forgiving and open-hearted environment.
  • To simultaneously meet the needs of all generations of people in our community, through biblical teachings and personal lifestyle that will create social action, conscience and responsibility.
  • Our ministry goal is to build relationships to all generations through Christ-centered teaching, quality worship, heartfelt care, personal discipleship and credible leadership.
  • Our church vision is to become a lighthouse to the greater metropolitan area, by addressing the needs of all generations though parallel worship, teaching, and care ministries; which will exalt and honor our Lord Jesus Christ.

And here is a (humorous) example of a bad vision statement:

“First Covenant Church exists for the passion and purpose of inspiring, discipling, equipping and sending out Christ followers with the destiny of transforming the world to the glory of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and fostering a graceful yet convicting church environment in which people of all faith experiences and backgrounds are molded into the image and reflection of Christ, together creating a God-honoring community of authentic worshipers deliberately focused on reaching their community, the nation, the next generation of believers and the world through missions works, innovative programs and prayer.”  And that’s just the first sentence… Read More

You can download below a chapter on the difference between mission, vision and value statements from my book A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps in Your Church.  If this helps you consider supporting the publisher and the author by purchasing the book: House_Divided_Chpt5_Vision©BobWhitesel

ENDNOTES:

  1. Bob Whitesel, A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps in Your Church (Abingdon Press, 2000), p. 240.
  2. ibid., p. 107.
  3. ibid., p. 108.

ASSESSMENT & Measurement: So What’s The Difference? Everything!

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 12/16/15.

An interview in “Christianity Today” with management researcher Jim Collins started me thinking about how some things cannot be measured, but they can be assessed.  I often direct my students to this article to help them create assessable evaluations for their final papers,

Jim Collins said that a problem today with non-profits is, “…being unclear about your goals.… Your goals don’t have to be quantifiable, but they do have to be describable. Some leaders try to insist, ‘The only acceptable goals are measurable,’ but that’s actually an undisciplined statement. Lots of goals—beauty, quality, life change, love—are worthy but not quantifiable. But you do have to be able to tell if you’re making progress. For a church, a goal might be: Young people bring other young people here unprompted. Do they talk about the church with their friends? You may not be able to measure that, but you can assess it.”

I think Collins is on to something here.

He is saying that while some things like “growth in maturity” (Acts 2:42) are not measurable, they can to be “assessed” or “described.”  Measurement means we can put a precise number to something.  I think we all agree that no one, except God, can put a precise measurement on a person’s “level of spiritual maturity.”

But, I think we would all agree that we can “assess” or “describe” progress of “growth of maturity” if a church is increasingly more passionate about “the apostles’ teaching (bible-study) and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

Thus, “assessing” growth in maturity is exactly what we are trying to do by measuring the growth in percentages of the congregation involved in Bible-focused groups.  This measurement I call the Composite Maturation Number (A House Divided, p. 209), and it is an “assessment” of the goal of growing a church in maturity.  Thus, we are not measuring precisely “growth in maturity,” but we are assessing progress toward it.

I hope you see that what we are using are “assessments” of unmeasurable goals of maturity, unity and favor.  But, these assessments can, as Jim Collins says, “tell if you’re making progress.”

My hope is that through such assessments all of you are increasingly aware if “you’re making progress.”

NOTE: In the following books I have created and updated church measurement tools that measure four types of church growth, following Luke’s pattern in Acts 2:42-47.  For more info see these chapters or “search” for keywords such as “maturation” in this wiki.

Cure for the Common Church, (Wesleyan Publishing House), chapter “Chapter 6: How Does a Church Grow Learners,” pp. 101-123.
> ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 8: Measure 4 Types of Church Growth,” pp. 139-159.
> Growth By Accident, Death By Planning (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 7: Missteps with Evaluation,” pp. 97-108/
> A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps In Your Church (Abingdon Press), “Chaper 10: Evaluate Your Success,” pp. 202-221.

GENERATIONS & Grandparents Transfer Values Down to Grandkids Better Than Parents #MargaretMead

Margaret Mead discovered that grandparents better transfer values down to the grandchildren than parents do. Margaret Mead, Culture and Commitment: A Study of the Generation Gap (Garden City, NY,: Doubleday, 1070), p. 2. Here is how she elaborated on this concept on p. 4:

QUOTE Margaret Mead on Grandparents & Grandchildren

Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=sLa2AAAAIAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=grandchildren

MEASUREMENT & Wasn’t David Punished for Measuring? No, for wrong motivation. 1 Chronicles 21

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 11/27/15.

But some have argued that there is something spiritual about “not counting.”  They would point to God’s displeasure with King David for ordering a census of the people in 1 Chronicles 21:1 – 30.  However, 1 Chronicles 21:1 reveals that it was Satan who inspired David to conduct this counting of his troops.  Even against the counsel of his commander Joab, who discerned David’s inappropriate motivation, David conducts the census.  David’s motivation for the census was to revel in the strength of his army.  But God wanted David to put his trust in God’s protection, rather than the size of his forces.  Hence, wrong motivation and wrong instigation led to an inappropriate counting.

Elsewhere in the Bible, numberings are conducted for meaningful reasons with helpful results.  In Numbers 1:2 and 26:2 God commands numberings of all Israel along with every segment of each tribe before and after the desert wanderings.  In the Gospel accounts we witness accurate countings of Jesus’ team of disciples, and in Luke 10:1 – 24 we see a company of 72 disciples sent out two by two.  In the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15:3 – 7, only by counting the sheep does the shepherd become aware that one is missing from the fold.  If counting those we are entrusted were odious to Jesus, certainly he would eliminate such imagery from his teaching.  And in Acts 1:15; 2:41; 4:4; Luke records the growth of the church by a careful record of its numerical increase.  McGavran concludes “on biblical grounds one has to affirm that devout use of the numerical approach is in accord with God’s wishes.  On the practical grounds, it is as necessary in congregations and denominations as honest financial dealing.”

The above is excerpted from the sidebar,  “Is Counting Biblical”, Bob Whitesel and Kent R. Hunter, A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps in Your Church (Abingdon Press).

VISION & Mission, Core-values, Core-competencies … what is the difference?

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 9/15/15.

A student once shared he was trying to distinguish between these four types of statements: core-values, core-competencies, mission and vision.  I tried to simplify them (perhaps overly so), but I wanted to share that synopsis in case you were in a similar scenario.

Here is my response.

———

Hello ___student_name____,

I don’t blame anyone for getting bogged down today in word-smithing, for there are many writers writing on the same thing, and they often mix their terms.   But, I like most of you believe that a vision statement is important for answering the “why” of an organization.

Thus, here is how I would succinctly explain the difference between a mission statement, a vision statement, core values and core competencies.

Mission: Tells us the what.

Core-values: Tell us the why.

Core-competencies: Tell us the best how (based in part upon how the world thinks we can do it).

Vision: Pictures the future goal of the how.

———

in addition, here is a chapter from my book A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps in Your Church on the difference between mission, vision and value statements.  As customary, if this helps you consider supporting the publisher and the author by purchasing the book: House_Divided_Chpt5_Vision©BobWhitesel

VALUES & How to find (and state) a church’s Biblical core values

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 9/11/15.

A student once stated,” …our church is one of the many churches that David Wilson alludes to in his book Foundations of Church Administration ….. For example, the previous mission statement had to deal with reaching out to the world around the church. It was a great mission, but it was never accomplished. It was never close to being accomplished. The church did not focus outward, instead it catered to whatever ministries the most influential people sought to build. That is why I believe we must answer the question of what core beliefs we have of what the church should be. If we answer those questions well, that in and of itself will impact who we are as believers. It will not be about just what we do; it will be about who we are. It will not be just about our behaviors; it will be about changing our DNA as a church.”

That is the value of “value statements,” for without them a mission and a vision for a church’s participation in the missio Dei is impossible.

Therefore, if you come to lead a church that has become organizationally- and/or communally-focused, then the first step toward creating a mission and a vision, is to clarify (and embrace) new core-values.

FIGURE House Divided 5.2 Biblical Values via WimberThat is why in “A House Divided” (2000:112) I created a Scriptural grid for defining the Biblical basis (or core-values) for a church.  If a church is struggling with what it values at it’s core, then starting with the Scriptures is essential.  And, I created this chart (Figure 5.2, based upon ideas from John Wimber, Writing Your History in Advance, nd) to make the process a bit easier.  It is attached to help stir your thinking (as well as your creativity and impact).  Click to enlarge the chart.

Download the chapter here (but as always, if you enjoy the insights please support the publisher and author by buying a copy of the book):  House_Divided_Chpt5_Vision©BobWhitesel

MEASUREMENT & A Reliable, Valid Tool to Measure Church Growth/Health #HouseDividedBook

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 6/12/15.

Church leaders usually want to apply quantitative evaluation of growth … that means using verifiable numbers and not anecdotal observations.  But most don’t know where to start.

In four of my books I have updated and modified a church measurement tool.  You will find a chapter on measurement in each of these books:

Cure for the Common Church, (Wesleyan Publishing House), chapter “Chapter 6: How Does a Church Grow Learners,” pp. 101-123.
> ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 8: Measure 4 Types of Church Growth,” pp. 139-159.
> Growth By Accident, Death By Planning (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 7: Missteps with Evaluation,” pp. 97-108/
> A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps In Your Church (Abingdon Press), “Chaper 10: Evaluate Your Success,” pp. 202-221.

I explain that church growth involves four types of congregational growth.  It is a seriously incorrect assumption to assume church growth is all about numbers.  It is only 1/4 about numbers and 3/4 about the other types of growth mentioned in Acts 2:42-47.  In the New Testament we find…

> Maturation Growth, i.e. growth in maturity, Acts 2:42-43.
> Growth in Unity: Acts 2:44-46.
> Growth in Favor, i.e. among non-Christians, Acts 2:47a.
> Growth in number of salvations, i.e. which God does according to this verse, Acts 2:47b.

To become more acquainted with these “church metrics” start by focusing on the first “Maturation Growth.”

In my first book, A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps In Your Church (Abingdon Press) I created a chart for computing a “Composite Maturation Number (CMN).

CLICK HERE >> BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – HOUSE DIVIDED Chpt.10 Evaluation << to download the chapter from that book (not for public distribution). Then apply Figure 10.1 titled “How to Compute Your Composite Maturation Number (CMN)” to your organization.

You will be surprised how easy and helpful it is to start tracking your church’s progress in Christ-like maturity.  And, this exercise will give you another tool to measure growth and maturation in your congregation.

Remember, if you are only measuring growth in numbers, you may be missing growth (or lack thereof) in the other three (3) critical areas of growth that God desires for His church.

HD_Sm_PixGBA_Med1Organix_final.aiCureForCommonChurch

Speaking Hashtags: #BreakForth16 MDIV500