Understanding the current “state of the business” is one of the first tasks for the new executive pastor. Peter Drucker said it best, “What business are you in, and how’s business?”
From a post I wrote a while back, the concept I’m putting forth here comes from the Performance Cycle. Starting at the end, Measuring Results, it’s important that the new executive pastor implement data collection and reporting processes right from the start. Most churches do some amount of data collection, but I’ve often found that it is seriously lacking. I can tell as soon as I ask, “What’s your average weekly attendance?” and I get a response like, “between 300 and 400, somewhere in there.”
Usually, there’s a general idea, but many times there’s not an “exact” number, meaning there are no real data collection and reporting processes in place. This is not unusual, though. A church just adding an executive pastor is doing it (among other things) because they’ve grown to the point where they’re realizing it’s time to get some of this stuff in place. And, they’re hiring an executive pastor to do exactly that.
For most churches the important data is pretty much the same:
- Average Weekly Attendance
- Number Of First Time Guests
- Average Weekly Giving
- Giving Per Capita
- Small Group Attendance
- Class Attendance
The task is to implement the processes required to collect the data and to put the data into a format that allows it to be reported easily. This is done using two resources available in the Resources area of this site, the Stat Sheet and monthly Key Performance Measures (KPMs). Each week, the staff (at a minimum) should receive a copy of an updated Stat Sheet and each month, the staff should be reviewing the KPMs as a team.
It’s the new executive pastor’s responsibility to make this happen.