We have different measures of health at each stage of life. When we were babies, the doctor measured our height and weight to see if we were growing in a healthy manner. The doctor, however, is no longer excited when I add 5 pounds a month; at some point, the measurements of health change. So how do we measure at each stage of a church’s life cycle?
|Child and Adult||Numerical growth
The key areas to measure are attendance, giving, small group participation, and serving both in the local congregation and in the community. The goal is to be growing in each of these areas.
What fruit is the church reproducing? Are new leaders being developed at every level? Is the church planting new congregations? Are leaders being sent out to lead in other contexts?
|Grandparent and Senior Citizen||Orchard
This is where the real fun is. Rather than focusing solely on local attendance and giving (which will always be a measure of health), the mature leader begins to count the orchard. What is the sum of all the congregations the church has directly planted around the world?
If we begin with the end in mind, the ultimate goal of every church planter will be a healthy orchard.
So what do you think? Is this a helpful paradigm? What would you change? What would you throw out all together?