How Do You Know When Your Church is Winning?

How do you measure your effectiveness in ministry? Is it possible to monitor both faithfulness and fruitfulness?

I have committed my life to helping church leaders find clear, concise and compelling responses to these questions. Until leaders codify their answers to these questions through tools and equipping environments, the church will fall miserably short of its potential. Dallas Willard asserted, “Instead of counting Christians, we need to weigh them.”

For well over a decade we have seen increased conversation about “changing the scorecard.” For example, leaders who have taken the true disciple-making mission of the church to heart are trying to redo their definition of success. Churches aspiring toward multiplication and movement have insisted that new metrics of effectiveness are essential.

Within this context, the question of success has been top of mind by being a predesigned deliverable in every consulting context for over 16 years. In other words, I don’t show up onsite unless a church is really serious about answering this question for themselves. I have traditionally called this a ministry’s “mission measures” which answers the question “When are we successful?”  It is the top part of the master tool called the Vision Frame which is represented by a bullseye icon.

Now, the scorecard question is again addressed in a new tool released this week: My latest book is a 25,000-word digital workbook, made available FREE through Exponential. The Dream Big Workbook is another tool in an ecosystem of break-thru clarity and includes 24 team discussion tools on the journey toward creating a multiplying culture. Essentially it is a riff off of God Dreams which contains a template for “LEADERSHIP MULTIPLICATION” as one of 12 possible futures for your church. The Dream Big Workbook is therefore an extended toolbox for churches that have “opted into” the leadership multiplication template.

Dream Big Scorecard Resources

In order to celebrate the release of the Big Dream Workbook I am offering two previous published chapters for free. Why? I simply want you to have the best tools at your disposal to work through these critical questions.  In Dream Big, I refer to the scorecard as one side of the Vision Frame. I don’t do much teaching on it, so the workbook assumes some familiarity with scorecard leadership.

In general, the church in North America uses a defining scorecard that is NOT the true measure of the mission – worship attendance and giving. That is to say, coming to a worship service and putting money in the plate does not necessarily mean that people are becoming disciples.

To orient you to my perspective, teaching and tools around a disciple-making scorecard, I am providing two free chapters from two different books.

In Church Unique, I wrote an entire chapter on “mission measures” to create a disciple-making scorecard. I also refer to mission measures as “missional life-marks” or your church’s “portrait of a disciple.” A church’s mission measure is defined as the attributes or characteristics in the life of the individual that reflect accomplishment of the mission. The chapter on mission measures is attached here.

In Innovating Discipleship, I use the idea of “results” to define three kinds of outcomes that church leaders should be thinking about: Input, Output and Impact. I have seen this chapter play a transformative role on hundreds of church teams. In addition, I share the eight reasons that pastors tend to focus on input results only: that is, attendance and giving again. The chapter is attached here.

May God give you great clarity as you think through and articulate your own scorecard!

If you have not grabbed it yet,  get a free copy of the Dream Big Workbook.



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Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
— Glenna Hendricks
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright

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