Doing the Math of Mission, by Gil Rendle

April 8, 2015

To the old debate about faithfulness versus effectiveness in ministry, Rendle offers another possibility: fruitfulness. But to ascertain whether leaders and congregations are fruitful, some form of measurement is needed. On the basis of work done in the United Methodist Church, church consultant Rendle introduces metrics for measuring fruitfulness in congregations, judicatories, and de­nom­inational structures. He anticipates that some readers will be defensive. Rendle suggests membership is not the most salient mea­sure of fruitfulness. Ministry is about changed lives, changed congregations, changed communities because of the presence of Christ. Such outcomes de­mand to be measured, not counted—a metric involving description rather than quantification.