Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I'm ordering multivitamins for my wife. They're suppose to save her digestive track and boost her energy. They're part of a pyramid scheme, but so was Israel and she was delivered from her suffering (see Exodus 1-15).

My father-in-law wants in on the goods. His skin has been revolting for years, and he owns a cough that will not subside. Poor old Mel. Good old vitamins.

Herbalife is one of the notorious vitamin distributors. Their product boasts measurable improvements in immune system health, bone density, memory, heart function, and clarity of vision. The proof of the Herbalife's efficiency is in the metrics. If a customer's bones continue to degenerate and vision continues to blur while ingesting the guaranteed product, she can get her money back... or increase intake volumes and add Vitamin D.

Metrics are not so easy in church life. Health measurements are too often restricted to programmatic elements: Sunday morning attendance, number and percentage of volunteers, budget, missionaries sent and supported. Unfortunately, this treats the church less like a bios (a living, breathing organism) and more like a heiros (temple building).

We need better metrics for church health beyond the building. Perhaps we need better vitamins, too (shaped like crosses). Sadly, when I recently asked a friend trained in organic church ministry about "metrics for the scattered church," his response was null. Then he invited me to a conference that would sell me books and network affiliations. More pyramid schemes.

I need to figure this question out: How do you measure the health of the local church when scattered (i.e., bios). Thus begins my journey.

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