What is Return on Ministry?

Return on Ministry is a way to think about church health and growth. Its concepts reveal the breadth of influence a ministry or event has on the congregation, community or world, as well as the depth of the significance it has on people’s lives. Are lives being touched and changed? That is, after all, why Christ said he came: that we might live an abundant life (John 10:10). Return on Ministry teaches churches to recognize and be responsive to trends. Simple stats such as attendance and monthly offering reveal no who, why or how information, and certainly nothing about future projections. Understanding trends translates into strategic leadership, rather than blind reactivity.

In his eBook Return on Ministry: Achieving Measured Kingdom Results, author Eric Soon introduces several longstanding business tools for use with church management, but puts a ministerial twist on them:

+ Balanced Scorecard

An organizational tool for dividing a church’s goals and objectives into a few simple categories, which, together, function as a dashboard to maintain a high-level view of the church’s results.

+ Values Triangle

A foundational approach to discovering a church’s unique identity before incorporating new ideas. The Values Triangle reveals the components of church operations that are strategic and those that are tactical, and why leaders need to understand the difference! This tool ensures the self-identification of each component necessary for the alignment required for health and growth.

+ Systems Trinity

A breakout of one layer of the Values Triangle, this tool shows the overlap of all aspects of the three vital church systems every church uses, with critical, high-level basics as well as specific details about each one. Without this understanding, the equilibrium of these three systems can get out of balance fast!

+ 3D Metrics

Do you know why you collect data? Measuring can be simple and practically useless, or it can be laser-like, revealing truths about data (the heartbeat of your church) that are not visible to the naked eye. This concept explains the three levels of data mining and why only the third dimension maximizes the costly but vital practice of data collection, storage, management, mining and security.

Ultimately, Return on Ministry is about visibility and vision: seeing what you have and determining where you want to go. It provides the roadmap for both.

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