All the Israelites twenty years old or more who were able to serve in Israel’s army were counted according to their families. The total number was 603,550.
We take time every three months at Granger Community Church, Granger, IN, to complete a ministry-connections tracking process. We send a request to the staff leaders in the church and ask them to identify every ministry team in their area, list the members of that team, and specify who is serving in a leadership role. We collect these names, enter them into our membership database, and print out reports summarizing the results. We also compare those numbers to previous periods so we can track increases and decreases in ministry participation.
With volunteers filling over 2,200 ministry positions at Granger, you can imagine that this isn’t an easy process. There are various reasons we’ve elected to invest this much effort into our tracking process. Here are the top five:
Ministry connections measure spiritual maturity. People’s willingness to serve in ministry is one way to monitor steps they are taking in their faith journeys. People who demonstrate servanthood are most likely maturing in discipleship.
Tracking connections confirms ministry health. By comparing the growth of teams from quarter to quarter, we can monitor whether our ministry connections are keeping pace with the growth of our church. If ministry connections start to lag, we’re reminded that we need to step up our communications and other systems that help people take steps into ministry.
Involvement data helps measure leadership capacity. Do you know whom you can count on to lead in your church? One way is to count the number of people who are following. Additionally, the number of leaders connected in ministry should grow at the same pace as the number of people serving in ministry. Without leadership growth, the ministry will eventually plateau.
Tracking creates a process to identify volunteer gaps. You can quickly learn where certain areas of the ministry need assistance in raising up new volunteers. When you identify those areas, you can focus your communications to help those ministries recruit and connect more people.
Regular collection of data reminds leaders that volunteer team development is a high value. You’ve probably heard the saying, “What gets measured gets done.” There’s a lot of truth to that statement. If the number of volunteers serving in ministry is always on your radar screen, your staff leaders will be reminded that they have to pay attention to increasing the number of volunteers connected to their ministry areas.
Take the time to regularly count those who are serving on your ministry teams. It will help you discern where the church is healthy and where you need to rally the troops. Volunteers count, so count your volunteers.
Excerpted from Group’s Simply Strategic Volunteers by Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens.