How To Measure Success In A Parish

08-01-2021Recommended ResourcesMarcel LeJeune

When I was in college, I took several semesters of archery. I loved shooting arrows at targets, but what ultimately won me over was the nature of archery; you immediately know how you are doing, based on where you hit the target. Still, there was one time that I hit the bulls eye and yet I scored a zero, because I was aiming at the wrong target! In some ways ministry can be like archery, we need to not only aim for the bullseye - but we also need to hit the right target! Too many Catholic parishes and dioceses are aiming for the wrong thing and miss the target. Then when questions arise about why the results they expected aren’t happening, they are puzzled.

To further illustrate this problem, we need to understand that what we value is measured and what we measure, we generally value more. In our current Catholic context, we measure:

  • Mass attendance
  • “Involvement” outside of Mass
  • Sacraments received (i.e., the number of baptisms, weddings, Confirmations, etc).
  • Numbers of programs, events, and classes
  • etc