Every year when we prepare our congregation’s statistical report, I find myself wishing that there was a way to report what is actually happening in the church. The report looks for numbers, and most of what happens at Morton isn’t quantifiable. I suppose we could try to estimate “number of sick people prayed for,” or “number reporting a deepened prayer life.”
In a recent post, Presbyterian minister Adam Copeland reflects on the “Online Dashboard” initiated by Bishop Will Willimon of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. Every Monday pastors report in statistics of various kinds from their congregations. Check out his post if you want to know more and follow the links.
What interested me most are Copeland’s suggestions for alternative “dashboard” questions:
Alternative Questions for the Conference Dashboards
- For how many of your enemies did you pray in the last week?
- How many times did you push yourself to an uncomfortable place for Jesus’ sake?
- How often did you find yourself closed-off to the Spirit doing a new thing?
- How many Bibles have you worn out from study?
- How often did you pray your Facebook feed?
- How often do you respond to a sermon with a specific question or action?
- Is your faith static, or are you pushing for new ideas, new activities, new insights of the Spirit?
- How often did you make numbers and statistics your idol?
- To how many people did you show and tell that Jesus Christ is Lord?
What questions would you suggest for “measuring” congregational life?