Vol 7 No. 37 More Comments on Measuring

Dear Folks,

To paraphrase an old expression, ”If you don’t plan where you are going, you will always get there’. There is a real internal and organizational conflict over how to measure things in the question of faith. While we talked about this a little earlier in the summer, let me expand on it in this newsletter. I am provoked by the writing I am doing for a workshop for the Canadian Council of Christian Charities at their annual meeting in Mississauga on September 27th.

Measuring the Unmeasurable: How to Convincingly Show You Are Doing Good Work

(Tuesday 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM)

Jeremy Bell, Executive Minister, Canadian Baptists of Western Canada


The need for not-for-profits to measure effectively what they do has never been more important because of the sheer scale, breadth and influence that charitable organizations have in society. This seminar attempts to bring together quantitative and narrative measurements that are meaningful to multiple stakeholders. We trust that this process does not bog us down in detail, but within a sound structure, frees us to do good work like never before

There are three essential challenges for not-for-profits and charities or churches. The first is that we continue to follow our pattern of encouraging a meaningful engagement of belong, believe, become. The second is that we consider all the different stakeholders that have committed themselves to the ministries we are apart of.  The third and final important piece for consideration is that we need not to focus on just numbers or just stories, but learn that stories about people must be related to statistics and financial concerns and that statistics and financial considerations must be rooted in the narrative of people’s lives. To put it in a rather tacky phrase – we need always to be in possession of ‘people embedded numbers’ or in short, ‘pen’. This is a primer for the discussion so far.



In Christ,