I'm reviewing the book 27 Tough Questions Pastors Ask by Dick Hardy. For those of you that are in church work or considering work, you should buy this book. It is filled with practical insights from a pastoral perspective. In each post I will take some quotes that stood out to me most and give a short reaction/question.
...in many cases, arguments against numbers are driven by an inability to see results (p. 20).
I struggle with this statement because I have been taught through classes and experience that numbers aren't everything. In retrospect, this normally comes from people that lack vision, purpose, or results. At the same time, I have heard numbers quoted flippantly without regard for the people, relationships, and stories behind those numbers. It is a fine line.
If the church is percolating in children's ministry and youth ministry but their adult Bible fellowship or small group ministries for adults are tanking, it will show in the overall attendance (p. 21).
I appreciate this outlook on attendance. It is more holistic and gives attention to the overall growth in the church while not forgetting the details.
A far better way to compare one year to the previous is to average the 52 weeks up through and including the current week (p. 22).
Maybe this is an obvious question, but does this apply to church plants and multi-site venues as well? If so, how? If not, then what?
Develop a systematic evaluation of the quality of all ministries. That quality will be a direct reflection of the quantity shown in the measurements. (p. 22).
This is a great approach to counting everything. It seems that all ministries would need to be counted and evaluated a little differently so that nuances do not skew what is important.
The more you measure the better steward you will be of that which God has entrusted to you. (p. 23)
So the more you measure, the more God will give you to be faithful in. Sounds like the principle of the servants and the talents.
God wants every person on earth exposed to the gospel. So count. Numbers matter to God! (p. 23).
I appreciate this take on counting everything. People are not just numbers. But each number represents a life in need of Jesus.