In many cases, the success of an endeavor is measured by whether it accomplishes the intended outcomes. And if the outcomes are something under your control, that’s a perfectly fine measurement to use.
Yet I’ve found that in ministry, we often tie our success to outcomes that are actually not under our control at all. To use a very simple example, we can plan a big event well… but we can’t make other people show up for it. Likewise, when we disciple someone, we cannot tie our success to their growth. Their growth is not under our control. We can, however, tie our success to faithfully and intentionally engaging in a discipleship relationship with them. Continue Reading
One of the things I’ve learned in consulting is helping people make the shift from focusing on outputs to focusing on outcomes.
What’s the difference? Outputs are related to the activity you’re doing. Outcomes are focused on the results you want to get. An example of an output is doing an outreach event. An example of an outcome is what percentage of those who came took the next step toward increased connection. An output is conducting a class on spiritual gifts, while an outcome is how many of those are actually using their spiritual gifts now. Continue Reading
I’ve been working with a few groups on ways to revamp their credentialing or ordination process– essentially, how to prepare ministers for ministry. This week on my blog I’m reflecting on some of my general thoughts in this topic.
The first thing that’s critical is having clear outcomes. If you want to develop high quality leaders within your ministry, you need to first define what you want those leaders to look like. What do you want them to be able to do? What qualities do you want them to model and pass along to others? Identify clear, outcome-based competencies so you have a clear map of what you want your ordained leaders to be and do. Continue Reading
“Direct results always come first. In the care of feeding of an organization, they play the role calories pay in the nutrition of the human body.” — Peter Drucker
One of the critical issues that we don’t recognize in church leadership is that it’s not the activities that matter, but the fruit that those activities yield. Attendance or participation is one thing to measure, but far more important is measuring the outcome created by that attendance or participation. For example, are we measuring church service attendance or life change? Just because something is easier to measure doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right thing to be measuring. Continue Reading
As we encourage our people to engage culture, they will form missional communities. Out of those missional communities, we will develop leaders. With those leaders, we will multiply movements. These four areas together make up what I call “the missional journey.”
- engaging culture
- forming communities/churches
- developing leadership
- multiplying movements
Here’s an exercise to flesh out these four areas in your own ministry. Identify the 5 to 7 core outcomes for each of these areas (e.g. If we are engaging culture in our region, then we will see… ) Get as specific and behavioral as you can. Outlining the outcomes of these four stages clarifies the “what” that we’re moving toward. It also gives us the relevant categories for measuring our effectiveness. Continue Reading