I realize that many of you know what I mean by a plumb bob. While there are new lasers and other devices available today to assist builders in getting things plumb, there is something fun about knowing how to use a more traditional device. No matter what tools I purchased to add to my toolbox, I still always kept one handy. Gravity never seemed to run out of batteries or need recalibrating. And no matter how bright it was, I could always see where the mark should be.
The same is somewhat true for evaluating how well our facilities and our programs are performing. There are lots of new and exciting programs that are being developed to help us quantify and track things. However, no matter how advanced those things get, it always starts with the same thing…data.
Creating a measurable standard means we must establish what the standard is. For walls, we like to know if they are perfectly plumb (vertical) and level (horizontal). We use the constant of gravity to figure that out. For facilities, we need to see what things cost and how we address things that happen in most facilities. For houses of worship, we also must recognize that our operational tempo can be somewhat unique. Many times, our facilities are used multiple times a week for several diverse types of activities. Taking the standard for a facility that is open two days a week and trying to apply it to a seven day a week operation does not work well, the opposite is true as well.
Why am I talking about this? Well, you may be aware that we are undertaking a church facility specific benchmarking study. For the study to be as accurate as possible we are trying to receive responses from as many houses of worship as we can, across the country. We currently use information from several types of commercial properties, and that does provide a great initial basis. We want to drill down even further and see how all our houses of worship are performing to create an even more impactful benchmark based on facilities that operate in similar manners with similar missions.
We still would like your help. There are over 350,000 houses of worship across the United States. While getting a response from everyone would be difficult, getting several hundred to 1000 responses is attainable. If you would like to participate and help us (if you haven’t already) please click on this link and take the survey. Be prepared to spend about 30 minutes and there are several questions that require knowledge of budget figures. The survey is anonymous, and we do allow for you to provide your contact information at the end if you want to receive an advance copy of the results.
Please consider helping us and sharing this with other churches you may know. The more informed we are, the better we can be the best stewards of what He has entrusted to us. Thank you for your consideration.