Tracking


Roy, one of my DMM coaches, told me that I had to visit Hermie at Cityteam to see all that God was doing in California. We reached out to Hermie & he invited us to come & visit him in San Jose to see for ourselves what God was doing through their disciple-making efforts. It was an unbelievable experience!

One of the things that stood out to me was their dedication to tracking. In fact, in their main office, they have a chart that fills up a whole wall that maps out the generational reproduction of their disciple-making efforts. You would see a person’s name, and then under it, a country or region’s name, then several other names under that, and under those, the number of groups that had been started, and so on. It was remarkable. I tried to take a picture, but my phone couldn’t capture the whole wall. In the one section I took a picture of, I could see 11 generations of groups from the top to the bottom of the chart.

While we were there, Hermie allowed us to FaceTime with one of his partners in Spain named Grant. Grant told us about a new tool they were using to track their progress in Spain. It was called 4DX from the popular book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, by Chris McChesney and Sean Covey. 4DX encourages you to set WIGs, or Wildly Important Goals, and then develop Lead Measures that will help to achieve the goal. You track your progress through a Team Scoreboard and a Weekly Accountability Meeting where you discuss the results of the previous week. The idea behind this execution strategy is to focus more on the activities that influence the accomplishment of the goal, namely Lead Measures, rather than the goal itself. If the focus is on the goal, then once you find out if you hit it or missed it, it’s too late to do anything about it. Whereas if you focus on the activities that influence the goal, you can know sooner if you’re making progress or not, and adjust accordingly. Grant showed us the Team Scoreboard they use to track their progress in Spain and the various Lead Measures they used to influence the accomplishment of the goal. It was inspiring!

After returning from California, we were exposed to a dissertation detailing the powerful movement of God in East Africa. At the conclusion of the dissertation, the author showed the “Team Scoreboard” (to use 4DX language) that was used to track their progress. It showed the number of Spiritual Conversations they had each quarter, the number of Persons of Peace that were found, the number of groups started, and the number of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation churches planted, among other things. I’ve shared a picture below but blacked out the actual numbers for security purposes.

It became obvious to me that tracking is important in movements. Tracking requires you to aim in a certain direction and measure your results rather than just executing arbitrarily & hoping you accomplish something. Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

Our leaders read 4DX as a team and began to encourage our DMM churches to set WIGs, choose Lead Measures, develop Team Scoreboards, and have a Weekly Accountability Meeting. It’s been tremendously helpful at keeping us on track and showing us when we’ve gotten off track.

Perhaps an example will help. 

Our coaches will meet with our team leaders and encourage them to set a prayer goal for the number of groups they’d like to see started. We encourage every team to strive to see at least 1 group started per person over the course of the year and to see 1 church planted over the course of the year. Many teams strive for more than this, but we encourage teams not to aim for less.

We’ve been told numerous times that in these movements around the world, it takes about 100 spiritual conversations to find a person of peace and see a group start. In some places it’s 200 conversations and in other places it’s less than 100, but 100 is a good average. And it takes seeing about 4 groups start to plant a church. See the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) where only 1 out of 4 soils (25%) bear fruit 30, 60 or 100 times what was sown. 

Let’s assume a team has 6 people on it & they set a goal of seeing 6 groups started through the course of the year. 

The Lead Measures that we are currently having each team track weekly as they aim for a group started per person are as follows:

  1. Number of Spiritual Conversations
  2. Number of DG Invitations
  3. Hours spent in Corporate Prayer

We chose each of these measures because they are influenceable by us and predictive of success in seeing groups started (pre-requisites for Lead Measures in the 4DX system).

We would tell this team that they need to plan to have at least 600 unique conversations over the course of that year in order to find 6 Persons of Peace and see 6 groups started. They would then divide 600 by the number of weeks remaining in that year to get their Spiritual Conversation goal per week. If they started at the beginning of the year, 600/52 = ~12 Spiritual Conversations they’d need to have each week. Then they would split that weekly goal up among the various team members & track it throughout the year. For this team of 6, they would each be aiming to have at least 2 Spiritual Conversations per week. That’s not very many, so you can see why teams will often pray for more than 1 group per person per year.

We typically encourage people to set a DG Invitation goal of half the number of Spiritual Conversations. So, if the team is wanting to have 2 Spiritual Conversations per week, you’d want to aim to ask at least 1 out of every 2 people you talk to if they’d be interested in bringing their family & friends together for a Discovery Group. Clearly you won’t get groups started without asking people if they’d like to start a group, so this is very important. Not every Spiritual Conversation is conducive to this, but we encourage teams to aim for 50% or more of conversations leading to a DG Invitation. 

The last Lead Measure is probably the most important. Hours spent in Corporate Prayer. Prayer is the key. We often say, “If we want to see results like they saw in the Book of Acts, we’ve got to pray like they prayed in the Book of Acts.”

Acts 4:31 says, “After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.”

After they PRAYED, they were filled with the Spirit. And after they were filled with the Spirit, they preached with boldness!

The only way we’re going to preach with boldness is if we pray & God fills us & enables us! We’re not going to have the Spiritual Conversations we want to have and extend the DG Invitations we want to extend unless we’ve prayed & God has filled us with his Spirit and given us boldness!

We encourage our teams to pray corporately at least one hour per week and a for half a night (4 hours) each month. We also encourage people to pray individually an hour each day. Many of our teams pray much more than that. 

Our teams track these Lead Measures on a Team Scoreboard each week and when they get together, they go over their results and make “commitments” of things they can do the following week to advance the Lead Measures.

Here’s an example of a scoreboard that this group of 6 might use:

As you can see here, they fell a little short of each of their goals for the week, so in their group meeting, they would pray about this & make “commitments” for the following week that could help them meet the goal for the next week.

Perhaps Jim would commit to try to have a spiritual conversation each time he’s at the gym this week. Or maybe Hillary would commit to pray that God would help her have the boldness to invite someone to do a DG when she has spiritual conversations. Each person makes commitments that will help them grow as a disciple-maker and hopefully hit the goal for the next week.

I know what some of you may be thinking. Isn’t this legalistic? Not at all. We do this because we WANT to, not because we HAVE to. We love God & want to make disciples of all nations like he told us to. We all recognize we need accountability in doing this, so the 4DX system is a welcome tool to help us do what we WANT to do, not what we feel we HAVE to do. We don’t think God loves us any more or less because we do or don’t do this. We just found that 4DX is a great tool at helping us execute on our disciple-making goals. Without tracking & accountability, you’ll find that you may have great goals, but much of what you desire to do doesn’t get done. By nature, many of us tend to come up with great ideas or goals but struggle with the execution. But without execution, the goals are never accomplished. This is a great system for helping us obey Jesus in making disciples!

Tracking was a game-changer for us.

If you want to see a movement of God in your area, I’d encourage you to begin tracking in your context the key elements that are common in every movement across the world.