Tracking our Metrics

In my last post I shared about how our ministry vision and metrics have shifted and what that has meant for us. It’s one thing to talk about what we track and another thing to give a little insight into how we are actually tracking it. What we do may be helpful to you, and you may have some insights that help us further streamline what we do.

Because we can’t control salvations, baptisms, church starts, or generations, we set goals for what we can control – encounters/engagements, gospel shares, and trainings. The latter leads to the former. We have a culture goal (what we are striving for the the culture of our ministry to be) of 100% obedience – every single student and staff person is regularly sharing the gospel and making disciples. If that’s where we stop, then it would be a huge step forward for us. But we are trying to accomplish the vision of #NoPlaceLeft on our campus where the gospel hasn’t been proclaimed. We can’t accomplish that systematic and comprehensive of a vision with haphazard activity. If every student deserves to hear the gospel personally and have a chance to respond to it, we need to strategize differently about how to accomplish that task. This is why we are training as many believers to make disciples as we can, and we are sharing the gospel as broadly as we can.

It’s not enough to share broadly and train widely. We need to be able to track the progress of our mission the very best we can.

It started with this:

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I keep this little notebook in my pocket or in my bag constantly. When we send out Entry Teams (2 x 2 groups) on a House of Peace Search (HOPs), they engage with people and offer prayer and the gospel. The only 3 responses a non-believer will give to the gospel is Red / Yellow / Green – Not Interested / Cautiously Interested / Ready to Turn and Follow Jesus. We have a next-steps process for each of these responses. You can see in my notes above, we are tracking total engagements, R/Y/G responses as well as Christians (indicated by †) and number of gospel shares. The bottom figures are the cumulative metrics since the start of the school year. Every week in our discipleship training group, I share the updated metrics to celebrate with our students as we share the stories behind the numbers together as a group. This has been incredibly helpful for us.

We use this time doing HOPs out in open space on campus as training time – it’s a bit like a scrimmage. It matters. We have seen fruit from it. But it is incredibly hard to track comprehensively and it can be hard to follow up with people we encounter.

Our intent from the beginning was to train students by MAWLing (Model / Assist / Watch / Leave) them in this process so that we could send them in Entry Teams on a Dorm of Peace Search (DOPs). Rather than encountering “strangers” on campus, they could encounter their neighbors, and we could track our progress as we go. Now, I am getting reports back from a DOPs that look like this:

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This information can then be turned into something that looks like this:

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Each number represents a room in this dorm. In this case, the dorm is 4 floors. The background colors mean the following:

  • White – unengaged
  • Gray – knocked but no answer
  • Red – red light
  • Yellow – yellow light
  • Green – turned and believed in Jesus
  • Purple – Christian
  • Black triangle – note was added with contextual info

This is the progress map for our Entry Teams in one dorm. There are 19 more dorms on our campus. When we finish engaging all the rooms in the dorm (i.e. they are R/Y/G/P), we can declare that there is #NoPlaceLeft in that dorm! When we have completed this for every dorm on campus, we will be halfway to #NoPlaceLeft on the whole campus. Every single school year, the clock will be reset and we’ll start over. We need at least one student who lives in the dorm to own the mission and take another student with them in a Entry Team. We as staff aren’t allowed in the dorms, so it is of critical importance that we find a person of peace who will drive the #NoPlaceLeft mission in their own dorm.

If that feels overwhelming to think about, then welcome to the party! This kind of pioneering work appeals to a certain kind of student – they are just waiting to be equipped and unleashed, and that’s what we’re really after. We don’t want to check off a box by each dorm room on a spreadsheet to make ourselves feel good. We want to make disciples who make disciples who can plant churches that plant churches to the 4th generation and beyond. This isn’t our outreach ministry – it is our ENTIRE ministry. We don’t have time for anything else! As the years go by and we keep having the clock reset on us, and as students keep graduating and moving away, we don’t get frustrated with our loss of progress. The progress itself isn’t nearly as important as how we’re developing disciple makers before they leave. We used to be excited to graduate healthy church members. Now, I want to graduate healthy church planters. We are casting vision for that from the first touch we have with them.

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