Organizations of any size and kind measure what they care about. This is a bit of a cliché in business, but it happens to be true. It is even true for bloggers. I don’t think you will find a single semi serious blogger who doesn’t know how many hits their site has been getting. Most probably make a mental note of how many comments each post generates and make adjustments to posts (even if unconscious) based on that. But Id be willing to wager that very few if any bloggers count the number of say action verbs in their comments section; it simply doesn’t matter to them.
The maxim in business says that you will measure what you care about. But it also works the other way around. Start measuring something and it is amazing how quickly everyone starts caring about it even if you fail to set and enforce performance goals. It changes the way people at all levels think and behave. A great example is workplace accidents. I think everyone has seen one of these signs:
Conversely, sometimes an organization wants to talk the talk but avoid any meaningful action on a topic. One of my early jobs in the corporate world was reporting. I learned early on not to take many managers at their word about what mattered in their sphere of influence. Often they would harp on one aspect of the business every time you saw them. They could be really convincing. As a young man I made the mistake of trying to find ways to measure just such things. I’ve seen more than one manager turn white when I presented them with a way to measure what they claimed was a top priority. Looking back I realize how lucky I was to keep my job in these cases; I was threatening them at their core by measuring something they loudly claimed to care about but had no intention of taking any meaningful action on. Now I don’t measure anything my manager doesn’t specifically ask me to.
Does your church care about divorce?
I’m guessing most readers who regularly attend church would answer an emphatic yes. When asked for proof, they would point to several Bible verses, a page on the church website admonishing against divorce, or maybe even dig up an old memo from the pastor.
But how many could post a picture of a sign like above?
I see a lot of people on the manosphere questioning what the church can do to counter the trend of friviolous divorce and the damage it does to men, women, and children. The simple answer is first they have to care. The good news is if they care there are some really great options at their disposal. Here are three ways your congregation could work to keep families intact:
- Keep track of every marriage the church performs. The church could keep a simple spreadsheet or database and each week try to contact all of the couples married by the church which had an anniversary the last week. Getting the initial contact information would be easy to do when doing pre marriage counseling. Do like creditors do and get the contact information of close friends and relatives at the same time to track down couples when they move. While speaking to them during the annual followup, the church member could invite the couple to rejoin the congregation (if absent), offer to pray with them about their marriage and family, or help direct them to resources they might need to strengthen their marriage. For married couples who join the church but weren’t married there, ask them to symbolically rededicate their marriage one Sunday in a short ceremony in front of the congregation and add them to your database for yearly follow-up. Key to this process would be to track the stats of how many of the church’s marriages are still together vs ended in divorce. I would bet money your paster would love the idea until you get to this point. Then he will likely turn white like the managers I mentioned.
- Calculate the ratio of the number of divorces per married couples who are members of the church for the past year (and historically). For example if there are 100 married couples who belong to your congregation, and 5 of them divorced last year, you had a 5% annual divorce rate last year. Track the trend. Don’t look for cop outs of “well this couple didn’t read the Bible much”, etc. Take your lumps so you can understand the true nature of the challenge. Publish the statistics for everyone to see.
- Track and post the number of days since a frivolous divorce. Just like the sign above.
Print this out and take it to your pastor. Post back with what he does.
My bet is he will turn white and excuse himself to go make preparations for the divorced members support/fellowship group. Or maybe he will tell you you should only read the Bible and not blogs with dangerous ideas. This is one time I’d love to be proven wrong. Please let me know what his reaction was. Please also let me know your thoughts on this idea whether or not you are an active member of a congregation.
See Also: Flyer sent home with our kindergartner.