New Scorecard

Coach, what’s the score?! This question could be heard over and over again during an Upwards basketball 1st/2nd grade game. Upwards basketball has one clear rule for this age group – NO score keeping. Only the time left in a period was on the scoreboard. The purpose behind this was to teach that age group the fundamentals of basketball and to focus on the development of those skills not on winning or losing. The funny thing is, the parents just kept the score themselves in the stands.

We have this behavior ingrained in us to know the score. By looking at the scoreboard or a scorecard, we can find out who is winning and who is losing. 

The Way I See It…

We need a new scorecard in ministry. The temptation we face is to compare ourselves, our churches, to the old scorecard called the ABC’s (Attendance, Baptisms and Cash). I’m not saying those numbers aren’t significant, but numbers don’t always tell the full story. I think it’s time to write a new scorecard that thinks more about outcomes of our strategy rather than the by-products. What if we changed the scorecard?

Below are 4 suggestions to add to the new and improved church scorecard:

  1. Gospel Engagements – Instead of baptisms, what if we measured how many gospel engagements our people had each week. LifeWay Research reports only 3 in 10 unchurched Americans say a Christian has ever shared with them one-on-one how a person becomes a Christian. Setting a goal, giving time in a group setting to share stories and tracking it weekly can build momentum in your church. What you give time and attention to becomes what you value.
  1. Missionary Movements – Instead of weekly attendance, what if we started measuring how many people meet one-on-one in their regular patterns of life? I’m talking about organic evangelistic and discipleship relationships that happen outside of church ministries. Missionaries think about building relationships with people from normal walks of life, and then look for where God is working and how He might want to use them to invest in this person’s life. These kinds of organic movements should be counted as wins.
  1. Programmatic Shifts – Are there things in your church that need to be strengthened, started, or shifted? Making changes needs to count as a win on the new scorecard. The old mentality, “we’ve never done it that way before” holds many churches hostage. Trying something new, even if it fails, should be celebrated and encouraged. 
  1. Community Partnerships – Do you plan events based on how it directly relates to your attendance, baptisms or cash? A new scorecard would plan an event motivated by serving your community because you love them, asking for nothing in return. Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor. He didn’t say love your neighbor if it benefits me or the church. We need to celebrate when we form partnerships and have good relationships with schools, boards, non-profits, and organizations in the community.

Recently, my son, daughter-in-law, and I all entered the same miniature golf competition. We had a scorecard and totaled our scores at the end of the round. Believe it or not, I won! In that case, the scores mattered to me. Because I won! We know the Lord doesn’t judge us based on our results (or scorecards) but on our faithfulness. Let’s rethink how we keep score. What else would you add to the new scorecard? 

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