In 2014, every church should be using data-driven insight to make smarter, more informed decisions. We live in a time where data is more accessible and easily consumable than ever. Ignoring this data is like buying a car right off the lot without ever comparing prices or checking reviews and ratings online. It’s simply bad stewardship.
At the same time, untapped data can help us achieve more success in ministry than ever before.
Earlier this week, I identified two principles Executive Pastors need to understand if they want to begin leveraging untapped data to make better ministry decisions. Today, I wanted to revisit the article that prompted the post and dive a little deeper into how it translates to the other leaders who make our local churches more effective.
While the author gives specific examples of how executives in the publishing, marketing, investing, and medical industries can use untapped data to improve business, I believe the concepts he highlights in the post are equally important for a variety of leadership roles in the Church.
Here are four ways untapped data helps us improve ministry:
- Data ensures that people aren’t 'slipping out the back door' of your church unnoticed.
If you are a Connections Pastor and you don't use data to make sure first-time visitors are followed up with the right way, you are sending a message that your church is a country club that only the 'right' people can join.
- Data enables you to not only place volunteers but support them.
If you are a Volunteer Coordinator and you don’t use data to connect people to service opportunities based on their unique talents, gifts, and strengths, you are sending the message that you only want people to serve to help you get a job done.
- Data guarantees that you value people more than numbers.
Most people think that it’s the other way around, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you are a Small Groups Pastor and you don’t use data to track who actually shows up every week, you are saying that you care more about numbers than faces.
- Data allows you to make your church members feel significant.
If you are an Executive Pastor and you don’t use data to identify first-time givers or lapsed givers, you are missing out on ministry opportunities and sending a message that you're 'not really paying attention'.
Learning how to leverage untapped data will be more difficult for some ministries than for others. However, every area in your church has the ability to reap massive benefits by using data in their decision-making. Solutions to the problems that keep arising in your ministries could be found by simply taking the time to analyze the information. In the end, data not only improves your ministry decisions, it improves the way you do ministry.
Talk to me: Do you think these principles are relevant for church leaders?