When a church goes corporate (part 5)
Measures of success
With efficiency driving a corporation it must develop metrics or measurable factors for determining success. Metrics demand clear, documented processes that ensure success. Metrics fall into two categories: leading and lagging. Leading metrics or indicators provide evidence that we are following prescribed processes that are proven to bring about the desired outcome. Lagging metrics or indicators simply tell us after the fact whether we met our goals. Leading indicators are required for managing processes and people. Lagging indicators provide information for reporting purposes and making future decisions.
As opposed to being metrics driven, a church must be values driven. Very simply put, the church’s values are the character of Christ. Values are relational and require intimate interaction with our Lord, each other and the world. We continually strive to conform to Christ’s values. Because of the relational nature of values, success cannot be gauged with metrics in the church.
A key difference between the metrics of a corporation and the values of a church is predictability. Processes are formulaic, relationships are not. A corporation constantly seeks to standardize its processes to guarantee consistency of product or service in order to improve its efficiency and make more money. The company measures adherence to its processes through metrics. In this sense, the church cannot standardize relational interactions to predict outcomes. Even Jesus received a variety of responses from people given the same relational stimuli in the same situation. The church should expect no less.
©2009 Rob Fischer