Thursday, March 24, 2011

Data collection gets short shrift

While some leadership-mentor-experts think that pastoral leadership is more than just "data collection" and "technique," in reality, data collecting and technique are the heart of relevant Christianity. Why come down on data collecting? Isn't that what Jesus asked his disciples to do as he sent them out in pairs?

The essence of pastoral leadership is collecting information, information about the unchurched in a community, information about other churches trying to fill the needs of the unchurched, information about your members and their spending habits and offering-history; their service contribution and their hobbies; and relationships. The real meat of Christian living is collecting information. And Christian businesses are here to help. Church management software companies will help you "to discover the relational networks of your congregation and identify key influencers who can help you to implement change and lead for church [sic] the ministry [of? for?] potential growth." (From ConnectionPower)

Technique is important! Kiosks are essential. If a visitor sees a kiosk, on arriving at your church, he or she will be wowed and amazed. This must be a church that cares! This must be a church that will know me, my family, my preferences and my spending habits inside and out! Visitors will instantly feel they are a part of the family of God when their name is plugged into the database, and their children leave for Kid Awesometime Hour wearing numbered stickers.

When lights dim as your sermon comes to the climax, when the praise team plays those soft, poignant chords, when the coffee comes at just the right temperature in the foyer, that's when the spirit of God can move the most.

So, let's not diss technique and certainly not data collection.