We gather this data several ways—from gathering data about newcomers through connect cards, to tracking salvations through counting raised hands. We also use a software program that keeps track of people moving through the discipleship program, small groups, and various ministries.
When I first started working in this role, the number of groups was well below the number church leadership determined we needed to match overall church growth. After two years of working to develop new leaders and groups, we’re positioned for growth and we’re hoping to hit an all-time high for number of groups this coming semester. Our goal is to have 130 groups this fall—not because this number will allow me to pat myself on the back, but because that number represents hundreds of adults experiencing community, growing in their relationship with Jesus, and becoming more fully devoted to him.
So, yes, I’ve developed a much better relationship with metrics. They’ve helped me better understand the state of my flock, steward the resources God has given me, and make appropriate changes to minister effectively.
—Julia Mateer is a writer, speaker, therapist, director of small groups at the East Bradenton Campus of Bayside Community Church in Florida, and author of Life-Giving Leadership. Copyright 2016 by Christianity Today.