Thursday, November 04, 2004

key performance indicators in postmodernity

There was a delightful piece in a local newspaper on Wednesday. The employment section was titled “working for the ultimate boss,” and explored ministry as a employment prospect! Tongue in cheek, it asked what where God’s Key performance indicators (KPI’s). Which got me thinking.

In modernity, I would suggest the KPI’s of the church were:
: church attendance
: offerings
: members

In postmodernity and with a more renewed theological vision, what might the KPI’s be. I am proposing:
: influence in wider community, leading to transformation
: generosity in time, talents and money
: wholistic growth

Am I missing any other KPI’s?

Posted by steve at 11:17 PM


  1. I think you have hit it on the head mate. Although I think that the emergent church doesn’t have KPI’s at all. It would seem intrinsically modernistic to have KPI’s but a contradiction for the emerging church.

    Comment by Garth — November 5, 2004 @ 1:06 am

  2. Add ‘programs’ to modernity I reckon.

    Comment by hamo — November 5, 2004 @ 2:39 am

  3. Steve,
    Helpful thanks. I’m having to put down my ‘objectives’ for a Performance Development Review for the charity that is administrating the church (for line-management purposes) and it’s a pain. How do I put these down for a community and monitor its growth? These are helpful…ta.

    Comment by Si Johnston — November 5, 2004 @ 4:46 am

  4. Very perceptive!

    A KPI for emerging Church that I would want to see is whether the whole really reflects and represents the sum of the parts, or whether (as in a KPI for Modernity) we organised the Church into the shape we wanted.

    Comment by Howard Jameson — November 5, 2004 @ 5:30 am

  5. hamo, not sure about programs and it might be a kiwi:aussie difference – here in NZ we have both a fascination with overseas programs and yet an inherent suspicion of the imported, a relaxed, can do type attitude. kiwis, even in modernity, can be pretty anti-program.

    Comment by steve — November 5, 2004 @ 9:15 am

  6. Some good thoughts here, but I must admit, I still cringe at the term KPI. One of the things I have been contemplating for some time now is whether the situation we are currently in (I’m posting from Australia) is a time of preparation, of ploughing. If so, what kind of “results” do we look for to measure “success”? Is it a cop-out or a reality that we may not see much happen (in terms of conversion) in the next generation? There is a tension we have where, we want to see people come to know Jesus, yet we are not on about how many people are in our church etc.

    Not sure about all this, still just thoughts…

    Comment by Steve Chatelier — November 5, 2004 @ 11:41 am

  7. I was also thinking about the whole new christians thing. Church growth of new converts is a little different to just becoming ‘the’ church to attend. But I do think it should really be measured on growth and change in individuals and in how we demonstrate the ‘real’ Jesus to the world around us. It is very important to have a close look at our own lives and that of our churches periodically to ensure we don’t become ‘stale’ or start missing the whole point. Just my musings!

    Comment by karen — November 5, 2004 @ 4:25 pm

  8. one KPI i think would also integration of age difference…ideally, a community would see the emerging of mentors helping the youth. mentors not just 20, 30 or 40 year-olds, but those whom we thought of as “too straight laced”. the grandpas, the grandmas. families are so easily broken these days…

    Comment by Jon L — November 9, 2004 @ 2:06 pm

  9. just came across your list of kpi’s, and it is an interesting one… my biggest thought here would be that the latter list (the “postmodern” one) needs some fleshing out to actually make these things measureable. if you can’t measure it, then it’s probably unlikely to happen effectively, or at best “success” will be way too subjective and probably undefined.

    incidently, i find this a lot when i talk to guys who are right into the “emerging” church… not a lot of thought into what it is that they’re actually trying to achieve, other than not doing church the “traditional” way, which seems a bit lacking to me.

    my 2.1c…

    Comment by ob1 — December 29, 2004 @ 9:09 pm

  10. thanks mark. I do wonder how “enculturated” is a desire to measure success – it is very Western to set goals,and a very alien concept, to, for instance pacific island cultures. Just because they don’t set KPI’s, are they less “successful”?

    having said that, I would suggest its a short step from the sermon, to an actual naming emerging KPI’s – create space for the de-churched to grow – see postmoderns come to faith – praying consistently for the “sheep” you have named.

    Comment by steve — December 30, 2004 @ 12:05 pm

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