By Chuck Lawless
Based on what I’ve learned about church leaders via years of church consulting, here’s a pop quiz for pastors and other church leaders. Many, many leaders with whom I’ve worked could not answer these questions – questions I believe strong church leadersshould be able to answer:
- What are your church’s mission and vision statements? You might be surprised how many leaders can’t answer this question.
- What are the demographics of the community within 5-10 miles of your church? Too often, leaders guess at this answer.
- What are the names of your community’s government officials? Spiritual leaders in a community should know these names, particularly to pray for them.
- Is your church growing? If so, is it growing by evangelistic growth? Transfer growth? Biological growth? You should know the source of your church’s growth.
- What is your church’s baptism/conversion: resident members ratio? This ratio (baptisms/conversions per resident member) hints at the church’s level of evangelistic effectiveness.
- What is your church’s facility capacity (# of parking spaces, education capacity, worship center capacity)? An administrator may know most of this information, but pastors should be aware of these important data as well.
- What are the names of your staff members’ spouses and children? Not knowing suggests an unhealthy disconnect between the leader and the staff.
- What is the testimony of your primary leaders? It’s a tragedy if you serve with people every week whose Christian stories you don’t know.
- Is your church meeting budget? If you don’t know this information, you might be surprised some day by what you find.
- What percentage of your active attenders have joined within the past three years? Being aware of this figure helps you know if the church might be in a leadership transition (older members vs. newer members).
- How many church planters, missionaries, and pastors has your church sent out during your ministry? If you don’t know, my guess is that the number is probably small.
- What percentage of your active attenders are involved in a small group?If the small group is the place where your members get connected, you should know this answer.
- Do your church’s leaders affirm the church’s doctrinal statement? You might assume they do, but do you know for certain?
- How many mission trips is your church sponsoring this year, and to what places are the teams going? Leaders who can’t answer these questions likely aren’t as involved in missions as they need to be.
- What is your vision for the church ? A generic “I want the church to be reaching more people” really isn’t sufficient. A good vision has some level of specificity based on the church’s history, context, and leadership.
Assuming a value of 6.5 points for each question, with a 2.5 point curve just because we all need grace, what would you score on this pop quiz?