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Should groups have a score card?

I have been working on a little booklet about Sunday School (small groups) and I came across a postcard from a friend of mine, Mike James, who serves at Judson Baptist Church.  It was a score card that was used for their Life Groups.  I was intrigued.  I was actually so intrigued that I desired to create a score card for the groups that I oversee.

Now you may be asking, why would you create a score card?  Think about what we have been using to keep "score" in the past.  Our inputs have been very numbers driven.  Now my statement about numbers is not one that is to be interpreted as me being critical of this approach.  Numbers are important as we have always heard, they represent people.  I am amused though of just how much stock we put into number and numbers alone.

We were actually looking today at our ACP from last year, and once again the entire report places emphasis on numbers.  Which once again, gives an understanding to an extent of where we are, but to use numbers alone should not be an indicator of what is happening in a church spiritually.  Just as with using an enrollment figure alone should not be an indicator of what is happening in a group spiritually as well.

So what should be included on a score card?

1. Quality Quantitative:  Wait a second, Joseph, you just said, numbers are evil.  That is why I say that the right quality of quantitative questions or metrics should be used.

What are the quality quantitative questions to be used?
# of total attendance in your group: We need to know of course how many people are in their rooms, we also need to know when a group is getting large enough to create a new group.  The attendance is a definite.

# of new guests invited this week:  This will give you an indication of your culture of invitation.  When you can hear how many people are getting invited from one group to another, you have a pretty good indication as well of what groups are ready to work with the leadership and are actively finding new people to cultivate relationships with.

# of people who came to visitation (GROW, EE, Faith, etc): This will give you not only an indication of your culture of invitation, but also it will show you how many appreciate your structure for inviting.  I have seen some groups that try to go rogue and rebel.  They think they can do it all on their own and they miss out on many opportunities that the church will provide to support them in building up their groups.  When you are asking people to set aside time for visitation and they attend, it shows that you have a group that understands they are accountable to much more than each other.


2. Quantity Qualitative:  Oh I see what you did, Mr. Swap The Names.  Even though there may still be some aspects of quantity related with these questions, they are really giving a more intentional understanding of the quality of leadership in these groups.

Was your entire ministry list contact this week?  Yes or No.  It's a pretty simple approach, not asking for any number, but rather you are simply asking if a task was completed.  The reality is that we shouldn't care how the work of ministry is performed, to an extent.  If we want to make sure that people get connected and stick to our fellowship, we need them to know that a group of people care about their presence every single week.  This is a great question to see if your young adults are grasping the work of ministry in small groups.  Many will focus on the outreach arm, but if you have a group that gets this part of the work, they will end up being one of your first groups prepared to create new units.

# of new heroes sent to serve:  This question, though it is asking for a quantity, gives an indication of how they view people sent out.  If the Lifeway Big Boys are asking us to understand the people in our groups as missionaries, we need to treat them as such.  We also need to celebrate again when people are sent to serve, either in children's areas or with a new group.  You may not have an answer to this every week, but it still needs to be there at the forefront of their minds to challenge the group to send people out.  Then treat them as heroes in your group.

# of people that shared their faith this week: Why have we stopped asking this question?  We probably do not want to offend people for not sharing their faith or guilt them into it; WHAT??  Even if you had a group to put that one person shared their faith that week, this is something to celebrate, because they are speaking in front of the group of how evangelism is important to them.  This is a great quality quantitative question to know.

Find the score card that is right for your group structure.  Make it something they will understand and strive to complete every week.  Make it have questions that are quality quantitatively and quantity qualitatively.  When you can combine those two areas you will gain a greater understanding of what is happening in each group without you having to attend everyone of them.

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