Watching the Right Scoreboard

Imagine a football coach who prioritized rushing yards over the score because he was convinced that the team with the most rushing yards won despite the score. “Everybody loves a running game!” became the coach’s motto. 

After a loss, a sideline reporter asks the football coach why he lost the game. The coach would reply, “Lost? We won! We had fewer points but we had more rushing yards. So, as far as I’m concerned, we won. After all, everybody loves a running game!”

That coach wouldn’t last long would he?

There are so many numbers being tracked in a football game. Here’s a typical stats box from one of yesterday’s NFL games:

 BOX SCORE
Carolina Panthers (1-2-0) Atlanta Falcons (3-0-0)
Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
C. Newton 15/24 215 2 0
A. Edwards 0/1 0 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
C. Newton 9 86 1 32
D. Williams 11 49 1 13T
J. Stewart 10 40 0 15
M. Tolbert 4 14 0 6
S. Smith 1 10 0 10
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
G. Olsen 6 89 1 34
S. Smith 3 52 0 27
K. Pilares 1 36 1 36T
A. Edwards 1 12 0 12
L. Murphy 1 8 0 8
J. Stewart 1 8 0 8
M. Tolbert 1 8 0 8
D. Williams 1 2 0 2
Fumbles FUM LOST REC YDS
C. Newton 2 0 0 0
S. Smith 1 1 0 0
B. Hartsock 0 0 1 0
M. Tolbert 0 0 1 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
J. Medlock 0/0 0 4/4 4
Punting NO AVG I20 LG
B. Nortman 6 42.3 2 49
Kickoff Returns NO AVG TD LG
K. Pilares 2 27 0 28
Punt Returns NO AVG TD LG
C. Munnerlyn 3 7 0 20
Defense T-A SCK INT FF
C. Johnson 6-2 3.5 0 0
J. Norman 5-2 0.0 0 0
C. Godfrey 4-1 0.0 0 0
C. Munnerlyn 4-0 0.0 0 0
H. Nakamura 4-0 0.0 1 0
L. Kuechly 3-2 0.0 0 0
J. Beason 2-3 0.0 0 0
D. Edwards 2-1 0.0 0 0
C. Gamble 2-1 0.0 0 0
F. Alexander 1-1 1.5 0 0
J. Anderson 1-3 0.0 0 0
T. Davis 1-2 0.0 0 0
R. Edwards 1-0 1.0 0 0
G. Hardy 1-0 1.0 0 0
Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
M. Ryan 25/40 369 3 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
M. Turner 13 103 0 27
Jz. Rodgers 6 18 0 5
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
R. White 8 169 2 59
M. Turner 3 68 1 60T
T. Gonzalez 5 51 0 14
Jz. Rodgers 4 40 0 15
J. Jones 1 30 0 30
H. Douglas 1 6 0 6
J. Snelling 3 5 0 5
Fumbles FUM LOST REC YDS
J. Abraham 0 0 0 0
R. Edwards 0 0 1 0
D. Robinson 0 0 0 0
V. Walker 0 0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Bryant 3/3 41 3/3 12
Punting NO AVG I20 LG
M. Bosher 5 42.4 2 59
Kickoff Returns NO AVG TD LG
Jz. Rodgers 1 27 0 27
Punt Returns NO AVG TD LG
D. Franks 2 8 0 18
Defense T-A SCK INT FF
S. Nicholas 6-2 0.0 0 0
J. Abraham 5-0 1.0 0 1
W. Moore 5-0 0.0 0 0
D. Robinson 5-0 0.0 0 1
T. DeCoud 4-0 0.0 0 0
J. Babineaux 3-0 0.0 0 0
A. Dent 3-1 0.0 0 0
R. McClain 3-0 0.0 0 0
V. Walker 3-0 1.0 0 1
S. Weatherspoon 3-1 1.0 0 0
R. Edwards 2-1 0.0 0 0
A. Samuel 2-0 0.0 0 0
K. Biermann 1-1 0.0 0 0
P. Jerry 1-0 0.0 0 0
Total First Downs 21 Total First Downs 24
By Rushing 11 By Rushing 6
By Passing 10 By Passing 14
By Penalty By Penalty
Third Down Efficiency 4/11 – 36% Third Down Efficiency 5/13 – 38%
Fourth Down Efficiency 0/0 – 0% Fourth Down Efficiency 0/0 – 0%
Total Net Yards 404 Total Net Yards 426
Total Rushing/Passing Plays (includes Sacks) 63 Total Rushing/Passing Plays (includes Sacks) 66
Average Gain per Offensive Play 6.4 Average Gain per Offensive Play 6.5
Net Yards Rushing 199 Net Yards Rushing 121
Total Rushing Plays 35 Total Rushing Plays 19
Average Gain per Rushing Play 5.7 Average Gain per Rushing Play 6.4
Tackled for a Loss (Number-Yards) 3–4 Tackled for a Loss (Number-Yards) 0-0
Net Yards Passing 205 Net Yards Passing 305
Times Sacked (Number-Yards) 3 – 10 Times Sacked (Number-Yards) 7 – 64
Gross Yards Passing 215 Gross Yards Passing 369
Pass Comp-Att-Int 15 – 25 – 0 Pass Comp-Att-Int 25 – 40 – 1
Average Gain per Passing Play (includes Sacks) 7.3 Average Gain per Passing Play (includes Sacks) 6.5
Kickoffs (Number-In End Zone-Touchbacks) 5 – 5 – 4 Kickoffs (Number-In End Zone-Touchbacks) 7 – 7 – 5
Punts (Number-Average) 6 – 45.2 Punts (Number-Average) 5 – 47.0
Blocked 0 Blocked 0
Net Punting Average 42.3 Net Punting Average 42.4
FGs Blocked – PATs Blocked 0 – 0 FGs Blocked – PATs Blocked 0 – 0
Total Return Yardage (excludes Kickoffs) 44 Total Return Yardage (excludes Kickoffs) 17
Punt Returns (Number-Yards) 3 – 23 Punt Returns (Number-Yards) 2 – 17
Kickoff Returns (Number-Yards) 2 – 55 Kickoff Returns (Number-Yards) 1 – 27
Interception Returns (Number-Yards) 1 – 21 Interception Returns (Number-Yards) 0 – 0
Penalties (Number-Yards) 9 – 64 Penalties (Number-Yards) 2 – 15
Fumbles (Number-Lost) 3 – 1 Fumbles (Number-Lost) 0 – 0
Touchdowns 4 Touchdowns 3
Rushing 2 Rushing 0
Passing 2 Passing 3
Interceptions 0 Interceptions 0
Kickoff Returns 0 Kickoff Returns 0
Fumble Returns 0 Fumble Returns 0
Punt Returns 0 Punt Returns 0
Extra Points (Made-Attempted) 4 – 4 Extra Points (Made-Attempted) 3 – 3
Kicking (Made-Attempted) 4 – 4 Kicking (Made-Attempted) 3 – 3
Two Point Conversions (Made-Attempted) 0 – 0 Two Point Conversions (Made-Attempted) 0 – 0
Field Goals (Made-Attempted) 0 – 0 Field Goals (Made-Attempted) 3 – 3
Red Zone Efficiency 3/3 – 100% Red Zone Efficiency 1/4 – 25%
Goal To Go Efficiency 1/1 – 100% Goal To Go Efficiency 0/1 – 0%
Safeties 0 Safeties 0
Final Score 28 Final Score 30
Time of Possession 30:06 Time of Possession 29:54

Now that’s a lot of numbers! I’m a huge football fan but even I think this is overkill. The only numbers that ultimately determine success are the final score which is virtually lost in this avalanche of statistics.

Just like in football, there are a lot of numbers you can track in the church world. Numbers like: attendance, attendance within certain demographics, attendance within certain ministries, offering, mission’s giving, building fund, event participation, percentage of attendance vs. full-time pastors, the numbers of the church across town, how high your church ranks on the perceived “cool meter”, etc. These are all important to track (except maybe the last two) but . . .

What’s the scoreboard!?

Jesus said the church’s scoreboard is making disciples.

There are many numbers that factor into the church’s effectiveness. The danger is replacing the scoreboard (making disciples) with one of those factors.

The fastest way to unity is agreeing on the scoreboard. The fastest way to chaos is losing sight of the scoreboard.

Do you feel your team agrees on the final scoreboard? Is your entire team watching the same scoreboard? Do all of your ministries and steps move people toward this scoreboard?

Our conversation will be better if you participate.

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