categories: ChurchMetrics, LifeChurch.tv, church, community, future, global church, leadership
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May 29th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Not Just More, But Different

I will never be satisfied with a church filled only with people who know Christ. God longs for the “lost to be found.” But for years I found the greatest joy in more people coming to church.

Today, I’m redefining success to not just more people, but different people.

A few years ago, our church was experiencing record crowds of people. But we also had many people who’d been with us for years falling into major sins.

We seemed to be effective at getting people into Church, but were we truly getting people into Christ?

I’ve been set free from being totally driven by attendance. Instead I’m asking God to take those we have into a deeper place of intimacy and knowledge of Christ. I’d rather have fewer and totally committed believers than a large number of lazy, apathetic, carnally minded and unproductive cultural Christians.

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categories: ChurchMetrics, LifeChurch.tv, church, community, global church, global culture, leadership, working together
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May 28th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Giving Out

As a pastor, I’ve always seen it as my role to teach people to give. My primary teaching has been to lead people to give to the local church. While I still believe the local church is the hope of the world (quoting Bill Hybels), I am not as focused on what our church can “bring in” financially, but what we can “give out.”

For years I said to myself, “One day, when we have ____________, we’ll be more generous.” The words in the blank changed over time.

  • One day when we have a real building…
  • One day when we have a bigger staff…
  • One day when we have the building paid off…
  • One day when we complete the new phase…
  • One day when we add these new campuses…

After years of half-hearted promises, I believed God said “Today is one day. It is time to put your money where your mouth is.”
We’ve worked to change our culture to a culture of generosity. (We’ve learned a lot from Dino Rizzo at Healing Place and Chris Hodges at Church of the Highlands.)

Since success isn’t simply bringing money in, we see it as…

  • Providing as many free resources as possible to help other churches.
  • Making a significant impact on the people in our community.
  • Helping meet needs around the world in the name of Jesus.

When it comes to finances and resources, for us success is no longer just what we bring in, but what we send out.

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May 27th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Sending Out

For years, my emotions rode the roller coaster of attendance. After a strong week of attendance I felt good about myself and life. After a bad week of attendance, I felt like the world was crashing down around me.

I was consumed with bringing people in. Never once did I lay awake wondering why we hadn’t sent more people out.

About ten years into leading Life Church, I started thinking about how big we were (according to some standards), but how little we’d actually accomplished (according to God’s standards). Compared to the real needs of our communities, we had not made a significant difference.

That’s when I got excited about a new measurement of success. Instead of “defining the win” by how many people we brought in, what if success was measured by how many people we sent out?

  • How many can we send into our communities to serve?
  • How many can we send into the world to evangelize those without Christ?
  • How many can we send to help start new churches?

Rather than just celebrating those we bring in, let’s celebrate those we send out!

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categories: ChurchMetrics, church, future, innovation
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May 26th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Changing the Scorecard

Reggie McNeil wrote a good book called Missional Renaissance, Changing the Scorecard for the Church. His subtitle explains in six words what I’ve been feeling, but unable to express succinctly. For many churches, it’s time to “redefine the win.”

For years, the most important measurements of success for churches in my circles were attendance, salvations, baptisms and the budgets.

(These measurements of success were often reflected in my conversations with other pastors. “So, how many people did you have at church last Sunday? What’s your annual budget?”)

In my mind, those traditional markers of success will always be worthy of measuring, but the scorecard for tomorrow’s church must be broader.

  • Bigger crowds don’t necessarily mean bigger success. (A church could offer free beer and draw a crowd.)
  • Bigger budgets (leading to bigger buildings) don’t necessarily equal bigger success.
  • Salvations and baptisms would surely be celebrated in heaven, but these celebrations should be the beginning of success and not the end goal.

This week I’ll write about three other ways to measure success.

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categories: ChurchMetrics
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October 28th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

ChurchMetrics is Live

After we announced the development of ChurchMetrics.com, many of you have expressed an interest in trying out the tool for your church.  The wait is over…we just officially launched ChurchMetrics.com. Our Digerati team has been hard at work on this free web app and today we’re happy to share it with you.

ChurchMetrics helps you keep tabs on attendance, giving, salvations, and baptisms through easy-to-understand charts and reports. We developed it because we wanted a simple way to monitor patterns in these areas at all of our campuses.  We also wanted a simple way to input the data on the weekends without having to pass around and share Excel spreadsheets.  We’ve found that having quick access to this data helps us see where we need to make adjustments to stay on course with our mission.  Also, if you’re anything like me, you’ll especially enjoy the mobile features that allow you to both update and view information from any web enabled mobile phone.

To keep ChurchMetrics streamlined and simple, we’ve limited the app to track four core areas: attendance, giving, salvations and baptisms.  So instead of trying to replace your contact management system or church membership software, ChurchMetrics is focused on giving you and your team an easy, straightforward place to add, access, and learn from the numbers at your church.

Try it out, tell your friends, and let us know what you think below!

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