The ability to know is oxygen to a ministry. Leaders often wonder, “How are my people doing? How effective is my ministry? How am I doing as a leader?” At Gloo, we’ve worked with Barna Group in serving thousands of leaders who leverage technology as a way to learn and to know. We’ve learned that one of the best ways to gain knowledge is to leverage common frameworks—a mutually accepted way of viewing and communicating about something.
Barna Group has established 2 common frameworks that can be used to measure what matters- the health of those within your church and, by extension, the health of your church itself. These frameworks- human flourishing and church thriving- are summarized in the Measure What Matters tab based on data gathered from thousands of churches around the country so that you can see where your church stands in relation to others.
Intro to Flourishing and Thriving
This first section helps you to understand what Gloo and Barna mean by "flourishing and thriving." There are links to several key resources like Barna's The State of Your Church Report. These resources will help you to interact with the data Barna has already collected from thousands of churches in America so that you can see how your church compares to others around you.
To dive into all of the resources that Barna offers, click the Learn More link on the top right side of the screen.
State of Flourishing
The first common framework established by Barna, human flourishing, focuses on 5 areas, or dimensions, that make up a healthy person- faith, relationships, vocation, finances and well-being.
Through tools like the ChurchPulse Assessment, Barna and Gloo have been measuring these 5 dimensions in churchgoers all over the country since 2021. This tab in your account shows the data that has been collected so far for each of the 5 dimensions. The empty circle on the left shows the data from 2021, while the filled in circle on the right shows the data from 2022. In all 5 dimensions, churchgoers have grown in their health in the past year.
This data shows important benchmarks that you can measure your own church against to see how you compare to national norms. For more information on how to measure these dimensions in your own church, skip down to the Next Steps section at the bottom of this article.
State of Thriving
The second common framework established by Barna, church thriving, seeks to give a comprehensive view of the health of your church. Some churches track this through simple metrics like attendance or giving, but these statistics alone fail to tell the real story of whether your church is fulfilling its mission to nurture, send and equip disciples.
Through their research, Barna has compiled 15 dimensions of a thriving church that have been grouped into 3 main categories- the health of your congregation (nurturing), the health of your community (sending), and the health of your leadership (leading).
Just as with the State of Flourishing, Barna and Gloo have been tracking these dimensions in thousands of churches across America since 2020. All of that data is available to you under this tab. You can switch between the 3 main categories and view data from each year showing the average state of thriving of churches across America, using these benchmarks to see where your church fits.
For more information on how to measure these dimensions in your own church, skip down to the Next Steps section at the bottom of this article.
Barna's State of Your Church Report offers valuable insights into how the Church in America is doing as a whole, but what about your church in particular? Thanks to Gloo's Assessments feature, measuring what matters in your church is easier than ever.
Using Gloo's Assessments tool, you can create and deploy assessments to your church on a wide variety of topics. You can choose from a large library of templated assessments, or custom create your own. In this case though, if you want to measure these dimensions of flourishing and thriving in your church, you can use three different templated Assessments:
Barna PeoplePulse is a shorter assessment that only measures the 5 dimensions of flourishing
Barna ChurchPulse - Congregants gives a fuller picture of the 5 dimensions of flourishing as well as 15 dimensions of thriving
Barna ChurchPulse - Leader Team is specifically for surveying your leaders to gauge their health
Setting up and sending out these pre-built assessments is easy! Just go to the Assessments How To section of our Help Center for a full walkthrough. All of these tools are included in your Gloo membership and will be 100% free for you to use. And it's designed to be very easy to use as well. All you'll need to do is:
Configure a new Assessment using the templates mentioned above
Share your Assessment to your congregation
Once you've shared the Assessment, your congregation will begin taking it and the results will all come into an easy-to-view report right in your Assessments account. See how you measure up to the Church across America!