I want to share an example of my church KPI dashboard today. This example is just a JPEG, so it will not dynamically update – we’ll talk more about that below. I’ll start with a picture of my church kpi dashboard, then get into the terms and specifics. This post fits into my series of posts dealing with big data and the local church.

church kpi dashboard 1

What Do I Mean by a “Church KPI DASHBOARD”?

The “dashboard” part of that phrase is meant to convey the idea of something that displays relevant information. As best I can tell the business world has borrowed the term from the automotive world. You have a dashboard in your vehicle that displays important information. You can see your speed, engine temperature, amount of gas in the tank, oil pressure, etc. All of these measurements have their own gauges. Those gauges are grouped together into a display on the dashboard. Business leaders have been using the concept of a dashboard for a while to display relevant data about their company or company performance. So for my church I’ve grouped together a few displays of relevant data to display on a screen as a sort of church kpi dashboard.

What Do I Mean by “Church KPI dashboard”?

KPI is an acronym for Key Performance Indicators. Obviously I’ve adapted it from the business world into my specific context. A KPI in my context is something that helps me see if our church is accomplishing its goals or mission.

We believe that our mission at Greenwood is to make disciples who follow Jesus. We have several “core values” that we follow to make sure that we stay on mission. We also tell people that we want them to do three things as a member of Greenwood: 1) attend worship, 2) be in a small group, and 3) serve somewhere in the church. So I’ve chosen to try and measure performance in those three areas. My measurement is still a work in progress, but I plan to share the journey with you in the coming weeks and months.

What things am I measuring and displaying on my Church KPI dashboard?

At the present time I’ve chosen to display things in certain ways on my church kpi dashboard so that I can best visualize what is going on in the church. I may (actually I will) make adjustments to these displays in the future. Anyway, here is what I’m doing now…

I measure total church attendance on Sunday. I plot that in a line chart so that the line shows the total number who have attended. I also included a line that is the average of the past 6 weeks. I think that line might actually represent a better metric of measuring the growth of attendance. I am hoping that I will see less noise (movement in the data) by looking at the trend of the average numbers. Time will tell. Also I’ve made this KPI appear on a grey background. Grey backgrounds are how I decided to visually communicate that these numbers represent measurement of weekend worship activities.

I measure the number of guest families checked in on the display in the top middle. Tracking those numbers allows us to see if we are consistently reaching new families with children.

The top right display on my church kpi dashboard shows the number of children (birth to 5th grade) and the number of youth 6-12 grade (who did not attend worship). Honestly I don’t think that chart does what I want yet. I want it to show the trend of attendance for our three programs for those who are not adults. I told you this was a work in progress. I plan to adjust that so that it shows the total attendance of each area in different colors on the same chart.

On the middle left I have a display of our weekly giving plotted with the weekly need. This display allows us to quickly see if we are trending above or below the needed income line. It helps us know when it would be wise to ask (or not ask) to spend budget money a big ticket item.

My middle section is left blank. I plan to use it to measure the trend of people serving. I’m still trying to decide on what a relevant measurement would actually be. Then I’ve got to decide how to display that information so that it communicates visually.

On the middle-right I currently have a pie chart displaying small group Bible study attendance from the past week. I’m not sure if this is the best way to show what I’m after. I want this display to show me if I’m in need of creating a new group in a certain demographic based on the attendance of a certain group. For instance – my women’s group on Wednesday is too large. It looks like we need another one there. I may adjust this display though I’m not quite happy with it. I should mention that I have it coded in light blue so as to denote that it is displaying information about small groups.

On the bottom left and bottom middle I have displays with white backgrounds. These displays show information about social media. I’m convinced that social media is one of the ways that we communicate our mission, and excite our people about being a part of the mission. So I wanted to track the growth of those platforms in the chart on the bottom left. In the chart on the bottom middle I have displayed the engagement on each platform. I’m hoping to see if there is a trend between engagement on social media and involvement in worship attendance, giving, and small group attendance. This display will allow me to do just that.

Finally, on the bottom right I have a simple line chart displaying what I call “small group conversations.” This is a metric that other ministers at my church will not care about. I’ve included it here because it is something I have been measuring as a way of holding myself accountable. I want to be the champion recruiter for small groups, so I’m trying to track how well I’m doing at that task. As you can see I haven’t done so well lately. I can/must do more recruiting for small group Bible studies.

Conclusions about My Church KPI Dashboard

I think church kpi dashboards like this can be a huge help in measuring effectiveness of accomplishing the mission or vision of the church. I know some people will criticize this idea as relying on something from the business world, and not something from scripture. After all Jesus never said you are Peter and you must examine the KPI of accomplishing the church’s mission every week. I get that. But if we as ministers are accountable to God for the job that we do, don’t we want to be as open and honest about our work as possible? This dashboard idea can help a church be honest about how much time and effort is really going into accomplishing the mission. In my case it has shown me that I need to do more to plug people into groups. Now, that is what a dashboard can accomplish positively. Negatively, a dashboard like this could cause people to worry incessantly about hitting the goals for the coming weekend. It can cause anger about missed marks in the past. However, I think the potential for good outweighs the potential for bad. Tell me what you think below!

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