I worked with a Chief Medical Officer in a large hospital setting. His knowledge, skill and ability was impressive. He put his patients first and excelled in his drive for quality. His favorite phrase was, “if it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen!” Interesting point. He wasn’t interested in gossip, hearsay, hope-so or thought-so. He only wanted to read the data and see the charts.
Let me parallel this with a consultant I worked with. His unique phrase was, “you can tell what is important to a leader, a church or a business by looking at what is recorded, charted and monitored”. If the leaders are not monitoring the results, they really don’t care.
So leaders, what is important to you? You monitor your gas gauge. You check your credit card and bank statement. You design a budget and work to follow it. You save for a holiday and monitor investments. As a leader at church, volunteer association, not-for- profit or business, what do you monitor? What is reviewed at Board meetings? What data do you pray about and make decisions on?
Chap Clark and Kara Powell in Deep Ministry in a Shallow World illustrate, “All good farmers evaluate the state of their crops — and if they’re being choked by weeds or drowned by floods, farmers don’t comfort themselves by remembering previous bountiful crops. They roll up their sleeves, investigate new tools and develop fresh strategies to produce better harvests. They know that if their crops aren’t healthy, the end is near.”
Proverbs 27:23 confirms: “Be sure you know the condition of our flocks, give careful attention to your herds…” You couldn’t imagine a farmer not checking on his crops, herds or an orchard owner not looking on the quality of his fruit and vegetables.
Every church I’ve worked with takes attendance on a Sunday morning. But, very few do anything with this data. Every Monday, each Pastor should receive a report on the number of people in attendance on Sunday, the total offering, the number of visitors, numbers of Home Groups, Baptisms, Salvation decisions and community activities. It is not a coincidence that the boards of healthy churches review data in a chart format at each and every Board meeting. Healthy Boards want to know the health of their church.
Leadership is monitoring, asking the hard questions and making decisions based on current data compared to the vision and goals.
As a leader, what do you monitor consistently?
Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy