We talk a lot about numbers at The Unstuck Group. In fact, we’ve even written a book on measuring church health. With that, we often get questions about how you can actually measure ministry effectiveness. Questions such as…
- “If we don’t know many guests don’t fill out the Connection Card, how can we know how many guests we actually have?”
- “What is the best way to measure small group participation? Sign-ups? Weekly attendance? Number of groups?”
- “When I count the number of volunteers we have, how often should someone be serving to be counted?”
“People at our church just won’t volunteer.”
It’s a response we get often to our research on volunteer involvement. We recently found that the average church engages 45% of adults and students in volunteer roles. Many even engage upwards of 71%! However, for many churches, those numbers sound like an impossible dream.
What is the difference among churches with a high volunteer rate? In many cases, these churches have traded a culture of status for a culture of service.
Update 1/6/17: Registration for The Unstuck Change Challenge is now closed. But stay tuned! We have another resource to help you lead change being announced very soon. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!
It happens every January…
Pastors begin the year with big dreams for their churches. Some might put those dreams in a vision document to share with their staff. A few will even stand up this Sunday and declare the future to the entire congregation. But those who have been around the church for a few years know this:
2017 will likely be 2016 on repeat.
The response surprised us…
At the beginning of the year, we launched a new service to help churches with multisite. The type of churches that responded really surprised us. We expected the service would appeal most to the large number of churches preparing to launch their first campus. However, the much greater response has come from an opposite group: churches who went multisite and then found themselves stuck. Each of them ran into the same principle at work:
Going multisite exposes minor cracks and turns them into major gaps.
“Well it looked great on paper but…”
It happens all the time. Strongly gifted and well-intentioned church leaders make bad decisions that hinder their ministries. I’ve made my share right along with the rest. Sometimes everything makes sense on paper until reality tells a different story.
In those moments, it’s easy to assume that the issue is simply poor judgement. However, you and I both know that’s not always the case.
Multisite will multiply exactly who you are today. Nothing more. Nothing less.
If you and your team are dreaming about the potential growth that comes through adding new campuses, you’re not alone. We’re seeing more and more churches considering multisite as a next step. This isn’t selfish dreaming either. These churches have typically created environments to engage the unchurched, developed a discipleship pathway to help people grow spiritually, and equipped leaders to advance the mission. All of that is worthy of multiplication.
But… there is always a but…
Over the past few weeks, I’ve quietly watched fellow Christians complain about the secularization of Christmas. From “Happy Holidays” to Starbucks red cups, it doesn’t take much to spark an outraged tweet or post.
Just the other day, I passed a church handing out literature from the middle of the street. The title? “Down with Santa. Up with Jesus.” In scanning all the problems our society faces, I’m sure that knocking off St. Nick is right at the top of Jesus’ priorities.
One in two church staff members is open to new employment.
We were shocked to learn this during our latest research on church staffing and structure. At the same time, our experience confirms that many church staff members are simply unsatisfied. If it’s true that half of staff members are willing to leave, how can you possibly build and retain an effective ministry team?