Metrics for the UMC: Numbers ≠ Vitality (3 of 3)

At our last district clergy meeting our District Superintendent was speaking about metrics and vital churches and wanted to make one thing clear:

Numbers are not vitality. Numbers are contextual.

This is so true. Numbers give us insight but they are not vitality. I found a similar thought expressed on Twitter recently

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Metrics for the UMC: A Question of Counting (1 of 3)

Several weeks ago, I wrote a series about Why Numbers Matter in the UMC and I wanted to follow that up with some thoughts that I have been percolating on since then.

Statistically, for metrics to be any good they need to be measuring the same thing across time and among different locations. I don’t have any conclusions today, but just a question:

What is the standard for counting worship attendance? Do you include:

  • Children?
  • Infants in the Nursery?
  • Adults?
  • Volunteers?
  • Staff?
What do you count at your church for worship attendance?

Blessings of Ministry – Teaching (3 of 3)

There are many blessings of being in ministry serving as a pastor at a local church. One of these is the chance to teach classes about knowing, loving and serving God. This week I finished the second of a six week class in which we are looking at how we respond to God’s love and how our lives might be different as a result. I really enjoying sharing about our faith and the church, answering questions and helping people take the next step on their journey of faith.

What blessings do you find in ministry?

A Year Ago on Thoughts of Resurrection – October 2010

Here are some posts from Thoughts of Resurrection one year ago, that I think you might find interesting. Take a look…

One Day

Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tennessee. I too...

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“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10, NIV

This verse reminds me of two things, which happen to be connected together. The first is an experience that I had in college at One Day 2000. Along with others from the college ministry of which I was a part, I traveled to Shelby Farms Park in Memphis Tennessee for One Day. This was one of the Passion Conferences and you can read more about it at this blog post – Remembering OneDay 2000-Sacred. Holy. His. This verse also reminds me of the song Better is One Day by Sonic Flood, who played at the One Day event.

More than these things, this verse brings perspective to my life when I get caught up in the details, tasks and minutiae of life. It helps broaden my perspective. Were you at One Day in 2000? I would love to hear from you in the comments. Also, how do you respond to this verse?

Closing My Time with Resurrection Online

Yesterday, I led a workshop at Leadership Institute – Worship Online: What We’ve Learned in Three Years. Having transitioned my job responsibility to serve as Associate Pastor at Resurrection West on August 15, this was my final official role with Resurrection Online. You can see the presentation here:

I felt great about the presentation. I was able to share the thought, theological reflection and strategic decisions that had been made over the past three years that culminated in the decision to understand Resurrection Online as a worship venue of our Leawood campus and not as a campus where people would go to worship, grow, give, serve and find community. My friend Ben Simpson, asked if I would guest post about what I learned as Pastor of Resurrection Online. I hope to write this post soon, so to read some great writing (and my guest post at some time in the future, I commend http://www.benjaminasimpson.com to you.

It was a good finale. With the completion of that workshop, I feel that I was able to end well and close my time with Resurrection Online.

Leadership Institute 2011 #li2011

It is Leadership Institute time again at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. This year there are over 2,000 church leaders from 700 churches, 46 states, Brazil, Scotland and South Africa here for 2-3 days of teaching, inspiration, worship and community.

I love these days. There is something that is powerful when there are hundreds of leaders from across the denomination that at some level are seeking the same thing – new life in their congregation and community. Personally, it is fun to see colleagues and peers who I know from seminary, social media or the annual conference.

If you are at Leadership Institute this year or have been in the past, what did you find to be most helpful about the experience?