I once read a book called The Walmart Way by Don Soderquist. In this book I learned how Sam Walton lived by this saying: Know your numbers! He would carefully track any key metrics that might help him improve his business. Well Proverbs 27:23 basically says the same thing: Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.” Someone once taught me “You cannot manage what you do not measure.” I think that’s some good advice and I live by it.
In 2012 we water baptized 35 people. But in 2013 we only baptized 30 people. Because we track our key metrics we knew what we needed to work on in 2014. So in 2014 we placed an extra emphasis on water baptisms. We planned extra baptisms, we promoted them better, we taught on this subject in our sermons, etc. As a result, in 2014 we baptized 55 people – an increase of 83% compared with 2013.
Here’s my point: I wouldn’t have even known what to focus on apart from knowing our numbers. If you’re not tracking your key metrics, you’re guessing at where to place special emphasis and that’s not good leadership.
Here’s my list of irreducible minimums you should be tracking. You can track more, but you shouldn’t be tracking less:
- Water Baptisms
- Growth group participation (# of group facilitators and # of members)
- Number of people serving
- Total giving
- Total average attendance
- Number of first time guests
If you need a tool to help you begin tracking these things I would recommend you visit www.churchmetrics.com And if you need help feel free to give me a call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org