Metrics: The way things are measured, evaluated.
There are sciences that are fairly standard and measuring is standardized across the board. An inch is an inch and there is a standard, an official inch that is in the Bureau of Weights and Measures. When you pump gas, you will notice the sticker that it has been checked to be correct so a gallon of gas is really a gallon of gas. It is there to make sure you are not cheated. The Bible even talks about cheating measures and weights. So, in math you are sure that two plus two works every time. We learn math tables and they work in any country. The standardization of facts and measures is what makes science so logical and trustworthy most of the time.
However when it comes to measuring human performance, measuring becomes difficult. Metrics can change or be defined differently. Metrics can be established by consensus, by committee, by social pressures. For instance, we have a nation that has become formed by pressures of tolerance and relativism. Politically correct has become a force that chips away at everything, judges everything, perverts everything. This metric is making life difficult for everyone. Sensitivities are made extreme and everyone says they are offended when the least slight is expressed, many times unintentionally. In human circles, people in the same room can be working with entirely different sets of metrics.
The church world has the same problem. There are several different measures that are applied. Measures of numbers, finances, growth, properties, etc. are applied to churches. By what or by whom are we measured?
During this time of reflection and reaching for the reset button, I came to realize that the metrics, the measures that I had been reaching for were not the ones I had started with. Somewhere in the years, a subtle, persistent change had taken place. The joy of salvation was eroded and robbed. The idealism of ministry was replaced by the competitiveness of church life. Even the church members had lapsed into pettiness, bickering, territorialism, and missed the essentials.
I realized that I needed to return to the core values, the core metrics of the Bible, the words of Jesus, His mandate. He could have had crowds larger than he did. He could have stayed in Capernaum and had the largest church in the middle east. They wanted him to stay, to build a miracle tabernacle. He said he had to be about Father’s business. Obviously, Father’s business was not the way the world worked. Father’s business was building the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven. This kingdom reached everyone, particularly, the “deplorables.” To return to Bible metrics means returning to the love of God, the love of people. It means souls first, always first. It means reaching out to care and serve. Care and serve, not as a program, but as one who cares for the person.