How Do We Measure Progress?

I have been asked, “How do we measure progress as leaders?” My question is, “Doesn’t it vary with each organization and within each organization?” What and where are the evidences of progress?

I believe we must first have an understanding of what we are trying to measure. A sales manager is interested in how many sales of product his sales team can generate. A produce farmer is interested in the best way to be efficient in getting the most fruit to market. A prosecuting attorney understands the convincing that needs to take place for a conviction. In your church or organization what is it that needs to be measured to aid in progress?

In every walk of life we need to have an understanding of what we are trying to measure. The church is no different. Whether you are a teacher, secretary, deacon, or in any leadership position you must have an understanding of what you are in need of measuring.

In order to have an understanding of what you are trying to measure, you must have a knowledge of where you are attempting to go. It will do you no good to have a map of Oregon if you want to vacation in San Diego, agreed?

In your leadership position, what are you trying to accomplish (where are you going)? The term lead or leader implies that you are going on a journey and that you are taking others with you, correct? In your leadership position do you know what you are attempting to accomplish, where you are going? Ex: Reaching a lost community, growing disciples who will grow disciples.

Once you know where you are attempting to go you need to develop a strategy to get there. A strategy is a visionary, systematic combination of elements leading from now (point A) to point B. For your vacation you need to determine certain things i.e. drive or fly and rent a car. In the church if your objective is to reach the lost community, it could be determining the true needs in the community.

Next, you need to create a plan of action. This plan of action differs from your strategy in that the purpose of the plan of action is to carry out your strategy of accomplishing your task. Your plan of action will include multiple arteries for intentionally attacking your strategy. For your vacation to San Diego your plan of action will include: Making reservations, plan activities in San Diego, check venues.

For the church you may want to see where the strengths of your church align with the needs of the community. Ex. If you have good cooks in the church (I know you do) and you find out there are children in the community with no food on weekends, I trust you see a connection to begin meeting that need.

Once you know your direction and have your strategy and plan of action lined out you can work on establishing a diagnosis for progress. This is the tool you develop for measuring evidence of progress. When driving a car you do this by watching road signs and points of interest that communicate that you are headed in the correct direction.

What are you waiting for? Why not begin right now? Determine what needs to be measured, what are you trying to accomplish? Then carry on from there. Let me know how it goes for you and your church.