Missional Leadership V: Keeping Score

Posted: May 1, 2013 in Leadership, missional, Missions
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Part 5 of reflections from a class on “Missional Leadership,” taught by Dr. Reggie McNeal at Columbia International University.


The scorecard – what do we count?

This particular highlight was woven throughout the major shifts, and is one of the key points from the course. What do we count, in order to see if we really are winning the game? In the past, we have counted heads, membership, income, and other such concrete items that tell us that our church is growing. However, if we make a shift that is more external, more kingdom-centric, then these measurements become less important. In addition, these measurements have never really adequately measured the real resources that we put into the task.

Dr. McNeal divided the scorecard into the following resource areas:







Asking questions such as “how many prayer days are in the church calendar?” (prayer/time assessment) or “how many prayer coaches or intercessors serve our community?” (prayer/people assessment) gives a better way to evaluate if we are accomplishing what we set out to do. Dr. McNeal’s book Missional Renaissance is full of many other such examples, but in reality we need to do the work of developing our own scorecard, based on our own vision and goals.

Developing such a scorecard also allows us to move away from dry, unexciting numbers into a method of record-keeping that better lends itself to stories. By including categories that every person can identify with and rejoice in, and by counting “process” elements as well as finished products, we enable everyone to see how vital is the element that God has placed on their heart. In other words, we affirm the pray-er as much as the evangelist, and acknowledge the work of the janitor, IT geek, and social worker as spiritually valid, kingdom and community-centric vocations.

Of course, for many, such an orientation is difficult to accept. It means saying “we devoted 15 minutes to prayer during our Sunday service” becomes an important measurement, in the same way “we had 3 new visitors” is. Without focusing on the numbers in those statements (15 minutes is way too little – but show me a church that devotes more . . .), I think I would have to agree – devoting time to prayer during our gatherings is just as important a measurement as how many new people came to a service. Of course, the measurements don’t have to be equal in rank, either. The point is – if we want movement, we have to put time, energy and resources into the movement, and we should be able to figure out where to put them, and how to increase them. So – if we believe having people pray regularly is important, then let’s start counting and recognizing praying people.

I would love to see our own organization rethink its strategic counting process. However, I’m afraid my colleagues would take out a hit on me if I pushed for that!! (The last strategic change process was pretty painful)

Missional Leadership I

Missional Leadership II

Missional Leadership III

Missional Leadership IV


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