Today we want to pass along an interview with a long time pastor that Tom and I know from Northern California. His name is Jeff Bigelow and the discussion comes from the Vanderbloemen search group. The questions were asked by Holly Hall who serves at Vanderbloemen. Jeff has a wealth of experience and we hope it will be an encouragement. What would you add? Continue reading
I’ve been amazed over the years how words trip in and out of vogue in certain communities. When I was a graduate student, the journals, magazine articles, and study carrel conversations were filled with the phrase “paradigm shift”, referring to change in the assumptions of many Western Christians. Less formally, “shucks” became “stink” became “snap”. Leadership writing today prolifically promulgates the term “metrics”, as in, “Your process is deficient. It has no metric. How can you evaluate production?”
Enter your average pastor or missionary. You want to keep it moving on all fronts. You value learning. You desire to see God’s Kingdom gain influence far and wide. Perhaps in your reading you discover “metrics” and, as so often happens, it becomes the fascinating new concept that will revolutionize your ministry. Everything then becomes wrapped around measurability. While this concept or technique is useful, it can also derail the truly important. How do you measure the value of a casual conversation? Can you remember a conversation that changed the course of your life? How can you measure the value of faithful, consistent prayer? Can you graph the empirical changes in someone’s attitude or spiritual condition by creating a new “metric”?