I’m not surprised when church leaders raise an eyebrow when it is suggested that we establish goals or measure our progress or even take a survey to understand the sentiment of the congregation. Our faith is intrinsically focused on God and on people, not numbers. Yet in some situations, leveraging tools such as surveys and statistics can be helpful as long as they do not distract or constrain the Holy Spirit’s lead. I acknowledge that some churches have over emphasized data analysis this but it shouldn’t be discarded altogether. They have become driveninstead of Spirit-led.

In business, establishing goals and measuring progress is essential to managing change. The Church has long believed that change is irrelevant and unnecessary—even dangerous. Change is our kryptonite. We are quick to cite Malachi 3:6, “I am the Lord and I do not change…” Yet God is consistently dynamic and adaptive, even creating a New Covenant to restore us to Himself through Christ. We see through the divine healing ministry of Jesus, he was highly varied—constantly changing—in His approach.

While the truths of the Holy Bible are unchanging, our practices and traditions should evolve. Did you know that at one time in church history, major chords were considered Godly and minor chords were of the devil? Until the late 1800’s, the piano was considered inherently secular and not suitable for church music. It is vital that we learn what should be changed and what should be preserved. This applies to worship and music and how we adopt technology and common business practices.

There is no doubt that the western Church is declining at an alarming rate. Church leaders are doing their best to strengthen their congregation but virtually no one is focused on the Church as a whole. We need to do the things we’ve always done: pray, worship, teach, disciple, and call for revival. But we also need to band together, leveraging all tools available, and amplify God’s synergy that comes with unity.

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