If the mantra “what you measure is what you value” is true, then we need to have a way to measure and assess the health and effectiveness of missional communities. The series that follows will summarize how we assess missional communities at The Austin Stone.
Coach Assessment of Missional Community
In addition to leaders self-assessing, we also add a second dimension to the assessment which comes from our pastors and coaches. We have noticed that often times leaders will have either an overly optimistic understanding of the health of their group, or conversely they are a little too hard on themselves.
In order to provide some balance and additional perspective, our leadership and coaches provide interpretation of those assessments. They also provide assessment of the stage of the group based on coaching conversations and group visits.
The coach evaluation is based on classifying groups into one of four categories:
- Community Group – an internally focused, bible study or fellowship driven group. No evidence of mission.
- Small Group – a group that is serving together occasionally, but is not yet focused on making disciples
- Team of Missionaries – a group of individuals who are on mission to make disciples, but lack a cohesive pocket of people that they are intentionally seeking to reach.
- Missionary Team – a full-fledged incarnational/missional community with a defined pocket of people and communal practices that are oriented around lost people.
We don’t typically share the information above with groups, but use it as leaders and coaches to know what steps we need to take with communities and leaders. This progression to help us know where we need to push on groups and where our leadership needs to invest time.
What have you found helpful in providing insight to your groups?