Why Numbers Matter in the UMC – Community (3 of 3)

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Vitality seems to be the talk of The United Methodist Church. From the invitation to be a Vital Congregation to tracking metrics through Vital Signs, there has been a wide variety of response to the movement to increasing the level of reporting of involvement across several areas of local churches.

Let me be clear about where I stand – tracking numbers matters for The United Methodist Church.

I certainly agree with the argument that tracking numbers isn’t the only measure of the good that is happening across the denomination. There is no way to quantify the significance of a bedside hospital visit, joy at a baptism, or life change after a mission trip. While there is no way to qualitatively measure this success in ministry, there is a way to quantitatively measure it.

If one life is changed through a service project – it makes a difference.

However if that one person is the only one that shows up each week at this regular opportunity it is a sign that things could be better. Inviting others to worship, grow, give and serve with you is part of the Christian life. Our faith is not one that only involves a connection between us and God – it is about a community and others joining us on our journey. Having others join us matters.

5 thoughts on “Why Numbers Matter in the UMC – Community (3 of 3)

  1. This blog post http://floridaconferenceconnection.info/blogs/detail/216 from one of the leaders in the Florida Conference about his mission trip to Kenya has inspired me to draft a petition to General Conference. I’m hoping that we will have the courage to repent of our misplaced emphasis on being in ministry to the wealthy and middle class, and renew our historic focus on being in ministry with the poor.My proposal involves setting a MAXIMUM salary limit for pastors as part of our Equitable Compensation statement. Bookkeeping and number crunching is not the way to revitalize the church. Genuine REPENTANCE is.

    1. Holly – Thank you for another link. I think that a maximum salary limit makes sense. One of the challenges that I see is the different standards of living across the United States and around the world. How would salary guidance be structured in a way that makes sense in every location?

      1. The annual conference will continue to set the minimum salary for the conference. The maximum salary is proportional to that (twice the minimum). According to my proposal, if a congregation votes to pay their pastor MORE than the maximum, they must give the same amount (over the maximum) to the Equitable Compensation Fund of the Annual Conference. Then the annual conference committee may use these additional funds to support minimum salary situations. Also, there is a NEW provision allowing the annual conference Equitable Compensation Committee to send money to OTHER conferences identified as having a need .(Central conferences especially).
        I have drafted a petition, but the National Association of Equitable Compensation is considering my proposal this week. They will be discussing it Thursday morning. I am hoping they adopt it as their OWN proposal. Currently “equitable compensation” is non-existant since congregations have no limit on what they can pay pastors…Please keep this in prayer. I believe this is important for the transformation of the culture of our denomination.

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