There’s a reason many of today’s businesses, nonprofits, professional sports teams, and churches are turning to data for better decision-making. Data enables you to see things you would otherwise miss in order to make smarter choices. That’s as true for churches as it is for the Houston Rockets.
The benefits of data are too valuable to pass up—and more churches are catching on. Yet a couple of key roadblocks continue to keep churches from unlocking the full potential of data.
2 Common Barriers Keeping Churches from Using Data—and How to Break Through Them
At TouchPoint, we believe it’s time to break through these barriers so that every church can experience the positive impact data can have on ministry.
Barrier #1: Viewing data as something cold and technical, at odds with the church experience
The word “data” may trigger thoughts of technology that is impersonal. But, in reality, the opposite is true. The idea behind using data is to learn more about your community so you can bring your congregation closer together.
Breakthrough: Using data is all about building closer, more personal relationships
Data is a form of listening. It’s a way of hearing from your congregation and staff about who they are, what motivates them, and what doesn’t. It’s a way to learn more about their experience and satisfaction.
The heart of being a data-driven church is using information to understand the needs of your congregation. Too often as church leaders we make decisions based on assumptions or our own biases. Data enables you to fill in blind spots and make better decisions for the spiritual betterment of your members.
Using data does not mean you need to sacrifice biblical commitments. Rather data is a tool for directing you to fruitful paths for discipleship and spiritual formation. By listening well to your people, you can design and implement ministry strategies that more closely fit into their lives so they more easily become disciple-makers.
Barrier #2: Believing that using data is too complex and beyond the capabilities of your church
There is an aura of mystery surrounding data that leads many church leaders to believe it requires an abundance of technology and expertise to make it go. The reality is, using data to make better decisions requires nothing more than an open mind, a willing heart, and a commitment to the process.
Breakthrough: Putting data to work for your church doesn’t have to be overly complicated
We tend to think of data in terms of technology and large-scale efforts. But that’s not necessarily the case. As mentioned above, using data is simply a form of listening and learning by collecting information to make better decisions.
The perception of complexity when it comes to working with data is largely the result of disorganization. When you have a plan in place for keeping your data organized and a strategy for putting it to work, it’s less a matter of having the right expertise than it is simply taking the right steps forward.