Aren’t Metrics Worldy?

Within a ministry context, there is a high degree of opposition to the use of metrics. Negative attitudes and motivations often tied to measuring outcomes disqualify analytics from being used by anyone serious about their relationship with Christ. (Hoag et al., 2014)

Some use Romans 12:2 where Paul exhorts the Roman church to not conform to the patterns of this world, implying the use of metrics is a worldy approach of making things happen and charting progress through means rather than relying on God. (Hoag et al., 2014)

Another reason metrics are often shunned for Christians is the misuse and poor leadership often tied to metrics, creating a legalistic atmosphere reflective of the culture the religious leaders of Jesus’ day had created. People with negative experiences with legalistic Christianity naturally develop an aversion to the use of metrics.

It is the contention of this author that metrics have a place in areas of the Christian life. Notable metrics in scripture are John 13:35 “By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”, and Matthew 7:16 “by their fruit you will recognize them”. With the use of these scriptures as a foundation, kingdom metrics can be attached that are about kingdom purposes. (Watson, 2010) Love, or affinity toward one another, may be quantified in the number of people involved in small groups or how long it takes for a new person to assimilate into a small group. Measuring fruit may be accomplished by marking how many are actively discipling others through a given process. These measures will allow intangible elements of the Christian life to be quantified, and gaining better performance from that information is not misguided or out of step with scripture. (Penley, 2014)

Resources

Hoag, G. G., Rodin, R. S., & Willmer, W. K. (2014). The choice: the Christ-centered pursuit of Kingdom outcomes.

Penley, P. (2014, July 9). Why Christian Ministries Should Measure Results: A Response to the Mantra “Aim for Faithfulness, Not Results!” [Blog]. Retrieved from http://www.intelligentphilanthropy.com/post/2283873-why-christian-ministries-should-measure-results

Watson, D. L. (2010, September 9). Leadership Essentials – Kingdom Metrics [Blog]. Retrieved from http://www.davidlwatson.org/2010/09/09/leadership-essentials-–-kingdom-metrics/


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