We have an area at Impact! HQ that we call “The War Room”. It’s where we do all of our planning, praying and meetings. On the walls are several whiteboard, calendars and bulletin boards. The one item on the wall that gets the most attention from visiting church leaders is a our metrics boards. They are metal boards that we use dry erase markers to keep a record of the number/metrics that we track. I posted a picture of them to my social media accounts last week and have received many questions about them. I thought I’d create a quick blog post to explain them. We start the tracking process over on the first day of each year, so the numbers you see in the picture are since January 1, 2015. We also only track the numbers that support the culture we are trying to create at Impact! Church – the culture of discipleship and the culture of loving people. So here is what we track:
1. REPENT – At Impact! Church we do not believe in re-dedication, we believe in repentance. When someone falls away from their initial commitment to God it takes repentance to come back to the Father. The REPENT boards is a count of people that make a renewed commitment to God through a prayer of repentance. We get these numbers from our communication cards and after-service prayer room counseling.
2. SALVATION – We record those that make a decision to follow Christ for the first time. We track this number not by people checking off a card or raising their hand in the worship service. This number comes from people actually making an effort to come to our prayer room and talk to a pastor after the service. There could be more salvation numbers, but “personal touch” in the after-service counseling is the only way to verify genuine decisions.
3. BAPTISM – They get dunked, they get recorded on this board. By the way – as of yesterday – the number is up to 2.
4. NEXT STEPS – At Impact! Church we believe there are three decisions that start the discipleship process – Bible study, serving and financial giving. This board is where we track people that make the first-time decision to join an Impact! Group, volunteer to serve a Impact! Church or contribute financially to our ministry. This number is NOT the total of people we have in Bible study, giving or serving – those numbers are – praise God – much higher.
5. SAFETY – Our neighborhood can get dangerous at night. We allow homeless people to sleep in our building 24/7/365. We believe we are providing safety more than providing shelter – therefore we record the numbers that way. Also, we never record the same person twice – only once on the first time we help them. The number you see is unique visitors.
6. FOOD – We give out food in the Parker Street neighborhood. Sometimes people come to us for food, but we also have several low-income elderly neighbors that we take boxes of food to each week. Just as with SAFETY, we only record the person the first time they receive food – not any other times that they may come back for more.
7. CLOTHES – This is the number of people that receive clothes by coming to Impact! Church throughout the week. Again, these are unique metrics – we don’t count folks more than once. On top of this number we also help another local church provide 5 changes of clothes and 2 school uniforms to every orphan and foster child in Polk County. We don’t count these on the board, but are grateful God allows us to be part of the process.
8. RE-ENTRY – This is one of my favorite boards to look at. This number represents the amount of people that Impact! Church has helped get off the streets, get into jobs or a rehab program and get into their own place to live. In essence, they once were homeless, but now they are not.
The question I get from most church leaders is, “Where are the total attendance numbers?” We count them, but do not put them on the boards because they are not relevant to our vision or culture at Impact! Church. We are only interested in loving people and making disciples. We track attendance only for the need to know ratios to our building capacity.