In chapter 8 of the book Turnaround Journey, the leadership team from 4C’s church is working to identify Destination Indicators for the next 7 months of their journey as a church. Let’s look in on their meeting.
As soon as Susan uncaps the marker, Andy begins, “We believe one of our destination indicators could be the excitement of people as they engage in ministry both serving and learning. Going back to the analogy of taking a trip, if along the way there is a really interesting landmark that you want to see, you are probably going to not only stop but perhaps take some photos. Afterward you will probably share with others what a great experience it was. On our journey as a church, one of our indicators could be of how many people are excited about an event or ministry activity after the activity. What are they saying? If after VBS the only thing they’re talking about is how good the kool-aid was, then we are probably on the wrong road. However, if they are excited and talking about the Bible stories, the new families we reached, the new friends they met, the faces on the children, and the baptisms to come, then we know we are on the right road and heading in the right direction.”
Everyone’s gaze follows Greg’s as he turns to see what Susan has written on the board. ‘Excited Engagement Exclamation.’ Susan looks at the tablet giving everyone a few seconds to read it, then says, “How excited are they about what they did, and how are they talking about it; Excited Engagement Exclamation.” She recites the phrase as if to say, what else could it be?
To some, the idea of using excited engagement exclamation as a destination indicator may seem odd and perhaps not a good measure. Let me suggest it may seem difficult to measure because we have not used measurements like this in the past. We are used to our traditional measuring sticks as attendance and income. People talk about one of two things: that which they are excited about or that which they dislike.
While gauging people’s conversations may not be a destination indicator for every church, the team from 4Cs realizes the great potential for accomplishing their Overarching Goal (OG). When people are talking positively about results from an event or other happenings in the church body, it is a good indicator the team chose the right path for their journey. On the other hand, if there is negative talk, the team has decided to listen and be flexible in making necessary course changes.
It’s time we as church leaders began thinking outside the measurement box and leading our people to do the same. As churches, we need to look at what really matters in changing lives. Are we making a difference and what difference are we making? How is that difference transforming lives and reaching more people? Do not be afraid to think outside the box. Then ask yourself certain guided questions. Those questions should lead you to understand you are not settling for good when you can achieve greatness through the Holy Spirit.
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.