When you and your team think about who they are attempting to become like who are they measuring themselves against?

Which organizations is your team learning from?  Who are they attempting to emulate?

If you are in leadership in a local church you have a benchmarking issue.  We have chosen an area of leadership where the vast majority of our communities opt of participating in.  In the communities I’ve lead in somewhere north of 90% of our neighbours decide every week to not be a part of church.  This causes a benchmarking issue because we end comparing ourselves against organizations that our community is also choosing against.

By comparing ourselves to other churches are we just pooling practices and approaches that are proven to not make an impact in our communities?  Even by learning from the latest mega-church (or giga-church) we are still choosing to learn from organizations impacting a small percentage of their communities.

Cirque du Soliel didn’t become the phenom it is by comparing itself to other (dying) circues. They became who they are by learning more from Broadway than Barnum.

Google didn’t make huge waves online by attempting to be just a little bit better than Webcrawler.  By learning from human behaviour specialists they built a system that gives us what we are asking for more accurately than any other search engine.

The customer service giant Disney World regularly sends it’s managers to learn from world class organizations in other fields to see what they can apply to their own operation.

For the next few days we’re going to look at three different areas of church life and I’m going to suggest some alternative “benchmarks”.  I’m hopeing to stir some conversation about some different organizations that we can be learning from.

Organizations tend to become what they focus on. Let’s spend some time considering something different than being just “3% better” than the church down the street.

What about you?  Who are the churches or organizations that you have been learning from? Let us know by commenting right now!


  1. Looking at the category of live, fannies in seats at large group meetings… i would have to say that there are very few sucessful benchmarks in my town. Way north of 90% of people opt out of just about every public activity i can think of… save for shopping at No Frills and sitting around a Tim Hortons. The Casino draws a large crowd, but I bet still no more than 10% of my community is in the casino at any one time. The soccer fields are full of parents watching their kids… but still there are only about 1200 kids in soccer in a town of 75,000 people. So i will be interested to see what “different organization” you will encourage us to find and compare ourselves too on the attendance category.

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