It is easy to get in to the numbers game, not just the counting…ignoring them to. You cannot stand at the extremes, numbers do matter but we have to be careful what the narrative behind them is.
Last week we began our new missional community and, with all faith, said that even if nobody outside of family turned up, we would be happy. This soon changed as we had a number of people who committed to attend – 14 in all and my hopes had been raised, space would be a challenge and we were going to have an incredible start. On the day, we had 9 in total – but not from the group that had committed – just 3 from there. It was a fabulous start and I was (initially at least) disappointed.
Numbers are a guide, they cannot and should not be ignored. However, we must be careful to listen to the narrative behind the numbers and look at the long term success or failure. Jesus was deserted and by the time of his crucifixion was completely alone…..years later, the world was changed and numbers are beyond counting now. We need to track our numbers and learn what the figures say but the spreadsheet should not determine direction of travel or key decisions, for this we need the story.
There were good reasons why a number of folk did not turn up for our first meeting, we will be logging the numbers in the next few months and see the trends. However, they will not prevent us sticking to the calling at hand. We will see a community of believers transforming this area because God is at work and his faithful friends are serving. Some of these things can be counted, some cannot.
Numbers matter but numbers alone are a noose around our neck. They are a part of the story, not the whole. Numbers matter, do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
Have you ever wondered why people do the things they do? Tell me, why do some people;
- phone me to ask if I have read their email? – just do one or the other, not both, you are duplicating workload.
- leave a phone message to ask me to call back when they could just leave a better message? – this is just lazy and adding unnecessarily to workload
- read their presentation directly from notes and give you the handout? – just give me the handout. If you do a presentation then add life to the written page.
- pay for a gym membership to do step training, yet do not walk up escalators? – one is free, the other extortionate
- attend a concert, make a poor recording on their phone and then buy a professional recording to watch? – ignore the poor recording and engage in the concert
There are many, many more but these were the first few that came to mind. What would you add to the list?
Homer understood the value of a crisis. He wrote, “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.”
The measure of a leader is not the number of people who serve him but the number of people he serves. Real leaders have something to give, and they give it freely.
Unfortunately, I have forgotten which book these first quotes came from – will try and recover those details and will amend
“A mentor is an acknowledged expert who is able to share experiences, past successes and failings in a manner that builds trust”
“Mentoring is an experience, not a destination”
“Recognise behaviours as well as results”
“Recognition is inexpensive – lack of recognition can be costly”
“People must be taught how to think, not what to think” – Margaret Mead
One of the good changes within the christian world, in recent times, has been the move away from programme orientated ministry towards people orientated ministry. This may be more theoretical than shown in practice but it is a shift that needs to be commended. Over the last 10 years there have been many a meeting when the phrase, “people are our best asset” has been used. However, theory and practice often collide when people become busy.
This is demonstrated when people get together and talk. The busy worker will be listening but not hearing, no matter how good the communication is. This is a crisis point that needs addressing for any relationship to move forward. If you are not hearing when you listen, this may be a sign that you are over busy, people may have become a commodity to you and this commodity has a lower value than necessary. If this is true – people are no longer your best asset!
Are you hearing those that speak to you? If not, it may just be that you are too busy doing the wrong thing – this is the crisis of busy.
In a moment of frustration, I blurted out, “I am sick of fighting, getting knocked back and then suddenly others make my ideas their own and people accept them!” That was a long time ago but it is a sentiment that has been repeated again and again. Recently, something similar escaped my lips and a trusted colleague reminded me that it is about ‘influence, not recognition’. Pondering this assertion left me feeling that it was untrue.
There is always a need for a basic level of recognition in every human being, it is impossible to go through life without it. Yes, influence is far more powerful but the person who is ignored, will not thrive. Personally, rewrite to 80% influence, 20% recognition – a far more realistic assertion.
What do you think?
One of my favourite TV shows is Hustle, sadly ended but a wonderful show. The concept of the show demonstrated that people who are greedy can be ‘hustled’ into parting with their cash if they feel they can have more. The gang would build a ‘facade of trust’ and through this the con could be completed.
I have been pondering how people often ‘hustle’ their way through life by building a facade of trust, yet fail to deliver. They draw people in, use them for their own ends and then spit them out. Harsh? Maybe, but by raising the question, I am convinced that a number of readers are now thinking through their contacts and labelling someone to watch out for.
Be careful, the Con is On!