Explanation of Missional Vital Signs
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The purpose of the Missional Vital Signs is to help church leaders increase their congregation’s:
- Faithfulness to our biblical mission, “Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” By focusing attention on the five core practices involved in cultivating mature followers of Jesus Christ, Missional Vital Signs helps leaders remain true to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
- Fruitfulness in fulfilling our biblical mission. By tracking one measurement for each practice, leaders gain a sense of whether their congregation is becoming more or less effective in carrying out the Great Commission. Jesus made it clear in John 15:1-8 that fruitfulness is expected as part of faithfulness.
To be sure, the Missional Vital Signs do not capture the complete picture of a congregation’s missional health – anymore than a person’s height, weight, heat rate, blood pressure and cholesterol levels capture the complete picture of a person’s health. They do, however, give us significant indications of health, especially when viewed as trends over a number of years.
Because congregations are so different, comparisons between congregations must be made with extreme care. For example, the amount of money given per worshiper in an affluent congregation compared to a congregation in an impoverished community is meaningless in comparing levels of Extravagant Generosity. The most effective use of this information is in seeing the historic trends of a particular congregation’s ministry.
Tools to use
- Below, you’ll see brief explanations of each of the five elements being measured by Missional Vital Signs. More detailed information is available in each of the five areas by clicking on the “click here for additional information” link.
- You will also find on this page some tools to help church leaders share the story of Missional Vital Signs with their congregation.
- A PowerPoint presentation, along with a script, has been produced that tells the story of Missional Vital Signs with biblical emphasis and humor.
- A “data gathering sheet” is also provided here to assist you in gathering information every week (remember—you only need to report your information monthly, however).
- There’s also an Excel spreadsheet provided where you can enter the data.
God bless you and your ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
The blue line tracks the annual weekly average of worshipers at a congregation’s principal weekly worship services, graphed against the left hand scale. The orange line tracks the percent of change compared to the previous year, graphed against the right hand scale.
The blue line tracks the total annual number of persons received into the congregation’s membership by profession of faith and reaffirmation of faith, graphed against the left hand scale. The orange line tracks the number of average worshipers it takes the congregation to bring in each person by profession of faith or reaffirmation of faith, graphed against the right hand scale.
The blue line tracks the total annual number of persons involved in Sunday school, in “on-going classes” and in Christian formation groups other than Sunday school, graphed against the left hand scale. The orange line tracks the annual percent of average weekly worship attendance involved in Intentional Discipling groups, graphed against the right hand scale.
Because the historical data available prior to 2009 allows for persons to be counted more than once, sometimes a faulty high percentage occurs. Starting in 2009, a more accurate measurement of persons involved weekly in Intentional Discipling groups will be gathered.
The blue line tracks the annual weekly number of persons in worship who self-selected that they had been a Salty Servant to someone beyond their congregation for at least one hour, graphed against the left hand scale. The orange line tracks annually the percent of the weekly attendees who self-reported that they had been Salty Servants the previous week, graphed against the right hand scale.
Our Annual Conference has only gathered data on this practice since 2009.
The blue line tracks the total amount given to the congregation for budget, capital and missional concerns annually, graphed against the left hand scale. The orange line tracks the amount given per average worshiper, graphed against the right hand scale.
Mission Vital Signs reporting process demonstration video - 5 minute video
Power Point - Right click to download file
Power Point Script - PDF
How to download your church graph as a picture - PDF
Implementation Guide - PDF
Weekly Data Collection Sheet - PDF
New Church Development Weekly Data Collection Sheet - PDF
Salty Service Ticket - PDF
Instructions for entering/changing contact information for Missional Vital Signs reporters - PDF