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Last week’s post focused on the importance of Micro-Measuring.  Without specific and accurate metrics, leaders cannot coach and reward appropriately.  Yet while measurements are invaluable to an organization, they are often resisted because they seem “cold”, “uncaring”, or “dead”.  And it’s entirely understandable.  Numbers may sound impressive but they rarely evoke significant emotion.  This is why most of us would much rather watch a movie than read an annual report.

Metrics enable the mind but stories touch the heart..

Every number in your metrics represents an individual experiencing significant life change.  Each of these numbers is a story worth sharing.  But if you leave those stories in percentages and ratios, you’ve stopped a step too soon.  Constantly, leadership must find ways to put a microscope on top of the graph and zoom in on a single life, looking with detail at what God is doing in it.  In order to create and maintain the true meaning of the metrics, leaders must constantly seek stories and regularly share them.
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Seeking Stories
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The stories are there if the numbers are positive.  We just have to invest the time to look for them.  Here are a few key places where stories can be found…
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Staff Members
Every meeting should allow time for team members to the share stories of life change that they have encountered throughout the week.  This is not exclusive to senior leadership.  In fact, frontline employees (assistants, etc.) often have more interaction with the mass of individuals in your church, giving them greater opportunity to hear what God is doing.  Listening down is a great way to find stories.
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Small Group Leaders
Small groups provide the opportunity for people to share stories with one another on a regular basis.  Every small group leader report and coaching conversation should have a space where stories are requested.  These people hear more than you can imagine.  If small groups are not a part of your strategy, seek stories from study teachers, volunteer team leaders, etc.  Wherever your people are developing relationships, stories are being heard.
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Individuals
Where do people go to share their personal stories in your organization?  Is there a place on your website?  A connection card in your service?  Regardless of how or where you do it, make the opportunity to share personal stories simple and available.
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Sharing Stories
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After collecting and filtering stories, they must be shared regularly to bring life to the metrics.  In fact, every discussion of a metric should be accompanied by a story to ensure that its value is fully grasped.  Consider the following places for sharing stories…
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Baptism
If you’re only dunking bodies, your people are only counting wet heads.  But when you create space to tell the story behind each baptism through videos, pre-written letters, etc., each individual becomes inspirational.  
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Altar Responses
The same is true of altar responses.  If all your community sees is people walking to the front of the room, they have nothing to do but count them.  But when you take time a few weeks later to share a story of life change that began in that altar, those numbers are claimed as meaningful and valuable.
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Goal Setting
If you’re sharing a numeric goal with your staff or church, couple that goal with stories of how previous achievements in that area have impacted lives.  When the metric has proven itself worthy in the past, it is more likely to be pursued further in the future.
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There are many other areas for which stories can be told.  And assuming that you measure only what you value, you should constantly mine for stories that relate to each of your metrics.  Sharing these stories brings life to the numbers, making what can otherwise seem “cold”, “uncaring”, and “dead” truly “heart-warming”, “inspiring”, and “life-giving”.
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