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Want to make disciples? Determine your gauges.

January 10, 2013

I really want to help others grow their faith. Don’t think too highly of me. Sometimes my own faith stinks. Sometimes I don’t even like being around people (especially after another Tony Romo season-ending interception). Sometimes I focus on me too much. But, overall my passion in life is helping others grow their faith.

But how do you REALLY help others grow their faith? That’s daunting! But as pastors, we must face this question: How does the church REALLY help others grow their faith?

So, how’s it going? Additionally, how do you measure how it’s going?

Recently I discussed the right scoreboard vs. the wrong scoreboard. (You can click HERE to read it.) Jesus said the church’s scoreboard is making disciples.

The scoreboard is clear (making disciples) but measuring it is super foggy. The key is determining proper gauges. It’s important to distinguish gauges vs. the scoreboard.


As I shared recently HERE, God seems to grow people’s faith 5 ways: 1) Biblical teaching, 2) Providential Relationships, 3) Pivotal Circumstances, 4) Private Disciplines, & 5) Personal Ministry.

The church is most effective when focused on “positioning” people for discipleship. For example, we can’t control circumstances but we are positioned for greater “success” if we’re in community with Godly people when unforseen, difficult circumstances arise.

Based on the “5 Ways God Grows Our Faith”, the primary gauges North Point Community Church monitors are: 1) Sunday attendance (Biblical teaching), 2) Giving (treasure reveals heart), 3) Personal Ministry, & 4) Small Group (Providential Relationships). (There are many more sophisticated measurements like ratio of small group participation to Sunday attendance, etc. but these are the critical gauges.)

North Point’s Scoreboard = discipleship. North Point’s Gauges = Attendance, Giving, Ministry, & Groups.

It’s impossible to measure individual discipleship. But we can measure the amount of people who are positioning themselves for discipleship.

Your church’s vision will help you narrow the numbers that matter. No one number gives a complete picture but identifying the gauges help give the leadership clarity, unity, and empowerment to lead.

Can you identify the gauges that help you measure your discipleship process? Are those gauges accurately tracked? Can your leadership team identify the gauges? Do they understand their part in moving the ball forward?

  1. Mark, I deal with numbers all day long….looking at forecasts, answering the question of “how did I come up with that?” So looking at gauges can sometimes be misleading. The numbers don’t always add up. You have to sometimes just keep it simple. When you are a manager your job is to create an atmosphere for success, and give as much help (instruction) and tools for those under your charge as possible, so that they have every opportunity to succeed. How to measure the results? Most of the time by seeing a maturing of that person; how they work independently and do they seem to have a passion for the job. If a person is just going through the motions, it will be apparent. Now, how does this apply to ministry? I think ministry has to create the atmosphere and desire to want a more mature walk with Christ, and to learn how to use the gifts that God has given each of us, so that one day we can stand before the Lord and have Him say, “well done my good and faithful servant.” The key word is desire! Just reading Romans and listening to Paul’s instruction has been a good place for me to start. It doesn’t happen overnight.
    As a coach for many years, my job was to teach the players the necessary skills to improve their performance, but they had to have the desire to progress; I couldn’t give them that.
    One of my favorite Books is John Bunyan’s, The Pilgrim’s Progress…the goal of the journey we are on is keeping focused on the correct path to take….not the easy path.

  2. Bud you make a GREAT point. Desire is necessary for growth. And, a church can’t provide God-given desire. There’s a lot of debate over whether a church can foster desire. Either way, when someone has the desire to take spiritual steps the church must ensure the steps are simple, clear, and effective.

    You and Jan are faithful Christ-followers who are a model for many of us. Thank you for your example!

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