Measure Causes, Not Results

Posted on August 20, 2008
Filed Under Accountabilty, Evangelism, General, Kingdom |

David Watson, a veteran church planter and part of the Reaching the Online Generation team, writes:

I just received a graduation announcement from a friend’s daughter who is valedictorian of her class. This tells me the results of her education, but not how she got the results. Making the highest marks in school does not measure how one made the highest marks. I find most statistics related to church planting measure results, not what caused the results. The interesting thing is that our followers will focus on what we measure. In effect, what we measure will determine what we get.

If we measure baptisms and new churches started we will see baptisms and perhaps a few churches started. But baptisms and new churches started do not cause more baptisms or more new churches to be started. If we want to see church planting movements we must understand what gets us to church planting movements and measure the causes. When we measure the causes, our followers will focus on making the causes happen, and we will see the results – more baptisms and new churches started….

…Measure what causes results and you will get the results you are looking for. Of course, if you are not doing what you are trying to measure, you will most likely not get the results you want to see. Church Planting is about managing your relationships, not about managing your paperwork. Build relationship systems around mentoring and you will see Church Planting Movements. If you build management systems you will get an office, not church planting.

You can read the rest of David’s post on his blog.

My question is this: What causes can I measure when the work to reach the Online Generation is so new that there aren’t any groups, leaders, or mentorees?

Here are some of my ideas:

  1. Prayer - Finding a Person of Peace is impossible without prayer. Are you spending a significant portion of my day in prayer? Are you contacting people to pray for them and ask them to pray for the lost of the Online Generation? How many people have you prayed with this month? Are you praying with/for people you meet online?
  2. Access - What are you doing to meet the expressed needs of the online communities?
  3. Communities - How many new online communities have you encountered? How did you find them?
  4. Spirituality - What are the ways you let seekers and persons of peace know that you are open to discussing spiritual things? How many spiritual conversations have you had within the last month?
  5. Resources - What resources do you need to reach the Online Generation? What are you doing to gather those resources?
  6. People - What have you done this month to meet Christians called to reach the Online Generation? How have you helped them fulfill their call?

That is all I have right now. I’m open to suggestions and additions. What do you think?

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