We know that the way we measure ‘success’ as church leaders is not an accurate way to address actual ministry.

The old line about ‘nickels and noses’ doesn’t tell us if we are actually doing God’s work in the world or meeting our communities’ needs.

It also doesn’t tell the story behind the number … there is no room for narrative.

So I have come up with a different metric that I want to propose.

Moving on from Nickels and Noses to:

  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Mouths
  • Eyes
  • Ears

Hands – how many people did we touch?

Feet – how many people came across our property?

Mouths – how many people did we help feed?

Eyes – how many people saw our us? Street fairs, facebook, youtube.

Ears – how many people listened to the podcast?


The advantage to this new approach is 3 fold:

  1. It incorporates a ‘body’ metaphor that is both biblical and ‘incarnational’
  2. It makes space for narrative – the story behind the number
  3. There is a qualitative as well as quantitative element

Here is a short (3 min) video – let me know what you would add or change to this approach.