The right metrics are absolutely essential to strategic leadership, planning, sustainability, and success. Many leaders only measure what communicates success internally and externally. Communicating internal success builds morale by letting people know they accomplished what the organization wants. Communicating external success builds the loyalty of constituents and donors, thus keeping the organization alive. Internal and external successes are certainly strategic. I define “strategic” as those elements, which when broken or absent, cause the strategy to significantly falter or fail. So, both internal and external successes can be strategic, but they are not the only strategic elements. You can have the best happy workers and all the money in the world, but if you don’t have the right leaders with the right plans doing the right things at the right time in the right way for the right reasons, then the strategy will fail, unless your strategy is to keep workers and donors happy regardless of whether Kingdom purposes are met.
In most complex strategies, there are numerous strategic or critical elements. In Gospel Planting that results in self replicating Disciples, leaders, groups, and churches that take seriously the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, these strategic or critical elements fall into three groups: Kingdom Elements, Tactical Elements, and Leadership Elements. Following is a list of the critical elements the teams I relate to use. Again, by critical, we mean that if it is missing we will have serious difficulties in fulfilling our Kingdom purposes.
Kingdom Elements include:
- Prayer: Pervasive Prayer is the starting point for all ministry. We must know the mind of God and join Him in His work.
- Scripture: Scripture is foundational and the source of all teaching and preaching. Scripture leads to Principles which lead to Practice.
- Disciples: Make Disciples, not converts. Converts focus on religion. Disciples focus on Jesus and obedience to His teachings.
- Obedience: Teach Obedience to the Word, not doctrine. Doctrine is our church’s teaching from the Bible as well as the historical practices of the church. It may be highly interpretive, and may not consider the full counsel of the Bible. Communities of Believers (church): Form new believers into minimum Biblical practice groups that will become Communities of Believers (churches) who transform families and communities
- Authority of the Word and the Holy Spirit: Authority of Scripture and the Holy Spirit are all that is needed to establish self-replicating Disciples, leaders, and churches. Church Planting is an act of God through His Spirit and His people who are obedient to the Word and the Spirit.
- Persecution: Persecution is part of being a Christian. In pioneer work it is expected and response is trained.
- Spiritual Warfare: In areas where the Gospel has never been preached, or in areas where traditional religions have reigned for a significant amount of time, it is not unusual to find those engaging in CPM activities confronted by Spiritual Conflicts that range from annoying to life-threatening.
Tactical Elements include:
- Groups: Groups/Communities learn more quickly, remember more things and remember them better, replicate more quickly and when correctly established protect against heresy and protect against bad leadership.
- Plan/Be Intentional: Plan your work & work your plan. Be intentional in Ministry, Prayer, Scripture, Disciple-making, Appropriate Evangelism and Church Planting.
- Ministry: Ministries open the door for Church Planting and lead to community transformation as the church obeys the ministry commands of Scripture. Ministry should precede evangelism and evangelism must always be the desired result of ministry. Timing is important and necessary, especially in highly resistant societies.
- Man of Peace: Start with the Man of Peace or an existing relationship that will permit a Discovery Bible Study or Witness
- Evangelize Households/families: Focus on households/ families, not individuals. Households include non-related people living and relating together as family.
- Appropriate Evangelism: Evangelism is an intentional calling to a family to study the Word of God in order to move from not knowing God to falling in Love with Him through Jesus. The primary method used is the Discovery Bible Study in relationship with maturing believers. This makes Disciples, not Converts.
- Reproducing: Reproducing disciples, leaders, groups and churches becomes a part of the group DNA.
- Reaching Out (Missions): Reaching Out to “ALL” segments of society becomes a part of the group DNA as a result of obedience to the Great Commission (missions) and the Great Commandments.
- Redeem Local Culture (Embrace the Local Culture): Do not import external culture, but redeem local culture by embracing all you Biblically can in a culture and allowing obedience to the Word to transform/redeem the rest.
Leadership Elements include:
- Inside Leaders: Keep all things reproducible by Inside Leaders and directed/lead by Inside Leaders.
- Outside Leaders: Outside Leaders Model, Equip, Watch, and Leave. Outside leaders introduce new concepts that are contextualized by inside leaders. Outside leaders deculturalize, inside leaders contextualize.
- Self-supporting: Self-supporting, local leaders start and sustain all work – including groups, fellowships, and churches. Self-supporting may mean the worker has a job or business. This improves access and breaks down the un-Biblical barriers between clergy and laity.
- Education/Teaching – Training/Coaching – Equipping/Mentoring: Discipleship and Leadership Education and Training are “on the job,” continuous, and primarily through mentoring. This builds communities that hold each other accountable for obedience to the Word of God.
- Education increases Knowledge though teaching. The focus is on knowledge.
- Training increases Skill Sets primarily through coaching. The focus is on the task and behaviors or character of the workers.
- Equipping increases Capacity through mentoring relationships. The focus is on the person, helping individuals become all that God has called them to be.
We have to make sure that our metrics measure the things that get us to Kingdom success in our strategic or critical elements. One of the first steps to seeing Kingdom success is to evaluate what you measure and determine if they really get you to where you want to go. Your teams will work to do what you measure. So, if you are measuring what does not get you to Kingdom Purposes, you will never reach Kingdom goals.
Most organizations only measure quantitative goals. These are the things that are easy to count: number of Bibles distributed, number of Bible studies started, number of people evangelized, number of converts, number of baptisms, number of new churches, number of new places entered, number of leaders trained, and etc. If you can count it, it’s most likely a quantitative goal. Not all Kingdom goals can be counted. Some are qualitative. Number of Converts is a quantitative goal. Discipleship is a qualitative goal – Hard to count, but absolutely essential to reaching Kingdom goals. Number of Bible Studies is a quantitative goal. Obedience is a qualitative goal. Both are important and essential to reaching Kingdom goals.
In the next four posts I will explore the Purpose of Metrics, Kingdom Metrics, Qualitative Metrics, and Quantitative Metrics.
I would love to hear from you about the things you measure, especially if they are out of the ordinary, but help you reach your goals.
Blessings!David Watson Irving, Texas