Over the past few years I have tried numerous weight reduction programs. During those weight loss weeks, I have forced myself to get on the scale, knowing it would tell me the truth—the reality of the situation. In some of my heavier moments, I have avoided the scale like the plague.
The main reason to keep and review weekly small group statistics is quality control—to know the reality of the small group situation. Statistics provide the necessary shock treatment, forcing us to see reality—"you mean Susana's cell has also closed!" The positive results of analyzing weekly statistics are:
- Reality—The leaders will be aware of what is really happening.
- Healthy Groups—Small groups will be healthier because timely coaching and resources can be provided before serious damage occurs.
- Plans for the Future—The church can make more accurate plans for new small groups based on correct data.
Until the year 2000, I thought keeping small group statistics was a good thing, but not necessary. After all, I thought, we were asking a lot of our small group leaders. Why burden them with another chore? At that time I did not know how to successfully obtain weekly reports, so I acted like it was not important.
The black hole of fuzzy statistics hit hard in 2000 when we launched a bold small group goal based on faulty data. As the year progressed we discovered too many "ghost groups" that existed only in the minds of the small group coaches. We miserably failed to reach our goal that year because our small group system was weaker than we thought. Our failure stirred us to keep exact statistics and review them consistently.
What statistics to look for?
The basic statistics that pastors, coaches, and small group leaders ...