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The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated quarantine radically impacted the way churches measure success. It’s turned historical metrics on their head. For many churches prior to the pandemic, the metric was ABC: Attendance, buildings, cash.

COIVD has exposed our tendency to look at these numbers as lead measures rather than lag measures. A lag measure is the result. Lead measures, on the other hand, are the drivers that affect the result.

The theory is, if we improve our lead measures, we will ultimately enhance our lag measures. The Apostle Paul understood this principle of lead vs. lag: “I planted, Apollos watered (lead measures), but God gave the growth.” (lag measures).

What are some possible new lead-measure metrics?

1. A flawless guest-experience

From the parking lot to the lobby, and into the worship center, what is the guest experience? We can’t control who walks in the door, but when they do, let’s ensure they find true heart connection with other people. and a reason to come back.

2. A crisp, powerful worship encounter

An honest evaluation of our worship experience may reveal an insider bias. How do we determine if that’s true of the church we lead?

  • We use terms only insiders know.
  • We assume guests know what to expect.
  • Gatherings are sloppy, have wasted time, don’t invite Jesus into the room

3. An organic/organized approach to discipling new believers (and seasoned believers)

Discipleship as Jesus exemplified is relational at its core. It possesses an informational component, but it’s more about transformation than information.

4. Preaching & teaching that connects

We have a tsunami of information at our fingertips. The problem is, we often don’t know what to do with that information.

  • Know the word
  • Know your people
  • Know yourself

Work on what you can control . . . plant and water (lead measures); and trust Him for what you can’t control . . .  the results (lag measures).

The new metrics hold the promise of more peace for pastors; they require more faith; they keep the credit for the results where they belong—squarely on the shoulders of Jesus.

John Opalewski

Author John Opalewski

John Opalewski is a graduate of Oral Roberts University. He served as a pastor for fifteen years. He has worked in the business world for nearly two decades, serving in multiple leadership roles. John's experience as a leader in both the church and business arenas has made him a sought-after international speaker, coach and mentor.

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