Understand that you are always measuring something … even if you do not know it. Most churches measure harmony, financial stability, membership. So long as there are no complaints, the church is in the black, and membership is at least stable, they feel they are a “success” (particularly in a religiously indifferent culture).

Your mission is what you measure … not what you advertise. Therefore, the real mission of most churches is to “be happy, emergency-free, and privileged”. If you say your mission is something else, prove it be measuring results. For example, if your mission is to grow spiritual leaders, bring people to Christ, or transform the community, measure the number of new small group leaders, newcomers to worship, or volunteers in hands-on ministries.

Once you name your mission, your next step is how to measure whether or not you are accomplishing your mission. Many organizations do this by clarifying “ends policies”. The board asks itself: “If we are doing our job successfully, addressing the mission we feel called to perform, the following positive personal and social changes should be visible.”

In future leadership tips, I will apply this principle to measuring success in worship, spiritual growth, and mission impact.