132 – Measure Your Effectiveness in Making Disciples
A Bulletin Insert Survey by Patrick Morley
How many churches do you know who have measured their effectiveness in making disciples? Probably not very many!
That’s because not everyone agrees on the importance of making disciples, not everyone agrees on what a disciple is, and it’s difficult to measure effectiveness. Let’s look at these three issues, and then introduce a simple bulletin insert survey you can administer to better understand the effectiveness of your church in disciple-making.
Importance: The Mission of the Church
The last words of Jesus were, “Go and make disciples…” A central mission of the church is to “make disciples…” More millions of people and more billions of dollars have been mobilized by this brief message than any other speech in recorded history.
A disciple is called to live in Christ, equipped to live like Christ, and sent to work for Christ. First, they are called to profess faith in Jesus Christ (evangelism). Second, they are equipped in a process of spiritual growth and transformation (teaching). Third, they are sent to minister, bear much fruit, and do good deeds (service). These three aspects of discipleship give us something we can measure…
- Has the person professed faith in Christ?
- Is the person engaged in a process of spiritual growth?
- Is the person serving the Lord?
In A Survey of Our Church, the first three question directly address these questions. Questions #4 and #5 can be used for verification or, if someone checks “not sure” to #2 or #3, for clarification.
Difficulty in Measuring Effectiveness
However, it is difficult to measure disciple-making effectiveness unless we have a tool, and the will to use it. The next page contains such a tool — a survey that you use as a bulletin insert, followed by some instructions about how to administer it.
A Survey of Men
Click here to download the survey.
How To Administer the Survey
You will need someone to administer and tabulate the surveys — a Project Coordinator. The Project Coordinator will:
(a) PREPARATION: Get the surveys inserted in one week’s bulletin (e.g., approvals, number of inserts to be printed). You can photocopy the survey from this article or download a copy ALM 132
(b) EXECUTION: The simplest way to administer the survey is to target one week’s attendees. Have the following statement read during announcements at each weekly church service on the Sunday selected:
“We are conducting research to better understand and improve discipleship in our church. In your bulletin you will find a half sheet of paper entitled “A Survey of Our Church.” Would you please get that in your hands at this time? If you don’t have one, please raise your hand and an usher will bring you one. (Pause). Thank you. Your participation in this survey is voluntary, confidential, and anonymous. Now, would you please take one minute to complete this survey, then fold it, and place it in today’s offering. Thank you.”
(c) COLLECTION: At the end of each service, collect all the surveys, and give them to the Project Coordinator.
(d) TABULATION: Tabulate the results by age and gender. Try to find someone who can present the results graphically.
(e) COMMUNICATION: Decide how to publish the results and any plans that have been developed because of the results (e.g., a leadership planning retreat to consider the results and next steps).
To gather and analyze information about our disciple-making effectiveness is not only wise, but demonstrates good stewardship of the resources God entrusts to us. 1 Corinthians 4:2 puts it this way: “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”
How many disciples do you have in your church? Do you know what percentage of your congregation are disciples by age and gender?