Kicking the day off at Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit, Chris McChesney just gave a great presentation on the importance of establishing wildly important goals and measuring them relentlessly. In ministry, those measures should go beyond attendance, membership and giving. If you’re wondering what you should measure and how you’re doing in each area, we’d like to give you a free copy of Vital Signs: Meaningful Metrics to Get a Pulse On Your Church’s Health.
Focus on the Wildly Important
Chris said it best when he said, “There will always be more good ideas than there is capacity to execute.” This is especially true in churches. You have limited staff, resources, and volunteers. The more “good ideas” you have, the less impact they’ll make in your pursuit of the vision. Less really is more in ministry. Fewer goals. More mission-minded impact.
Act on the Lead Measures
Churches often focus on what Chris would call “lag measures.” These might include the numbers of attendance, membership, and baptisms. But those metrics are not actionable, they indicate results. We have to understand the action-oriented steps that team members can take on the frontline in order to drive those results. Then measure those “lead measures” in addition to your “lag measures.”
Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
Lead and lag measures shouldn’t be constrained to a spreadsheet occasionally referenced in meetings. They must be visible to everyone on the team. This communicates their importance and keeps everyone focused on the wildly important goals you’ve established. If the metrics are out of sight, the goals are out of mind.
Create a Cadence of Accountability
One of the greatest challenges for long-term initiatives within churches is the 7-day church of weekend services. To actually accomplish those wildly important goals, you must create a cadence of accountability. Chris described this cadence through weekly meetings that involve three components:
- Report on weekly commitments
- Review and update the scoreboard
- Make commitments for next week
Here are a few of my favorite statements from Chris’ talk:
- The hardest thing a leader will do is to drive a strategy that will change human behavior, even when it’s in their best interest. The technical stuff can be figured out, the change in behavior is the tough nut.
- We’ll hear from leaders complaining about team members rather than working to get better at execution. We tend to blame the people.
- Focus on the wildly important, in addition to the whirlwind of the day to day.
- There will always be more good ideas than there is capacity to execute.
- What lives at the corner of Really Important and Not Going to Happen on Its Own?
- Execution doesn’t like complexity.
Ready to develop a scoreboard that serves as the basis for goals and accountability? Grab your free copy of Vital Signs to get started.