At Centratel, the staff wage scale is 50 to 75 percent higher than our competitors’. How do we measure whether this elevated pay scale is a smart thing to do? That’s an easy question to answer: we don’t measure it because we can’t measure it. Too many variables and too much subjectivity preclude analysis. Instead, we pay high wages because we have enough quiet courage to believe that extra cost is a good investment, not a waste of money.

Sam Carpenter, Work the System, 150.

Carpenter’s point is that it is a waste of time to try to measure what can’t be measured. Instead, leaders must have a firm conviction that certain investments are worth it, even though the tangible impact of them cannot be measured. Carpenter was trusting that investing the extra money in staff salaries would pay off in the long run through longevity among staff, more incentive to work hard, and more overall commitment to the company.

Ministry leaders, take note! Stop wasting time on measuring things that cannot be measured. Unfortunately, we cannot measure spiritual growth. But we often try so hard to come up with metrics and checklists and measurements for how those in our ministries are “growing” in the Lord. It is extremely difficult, probably impossible, to actually measure spiritual growth. So we should stop trying. Instead, we should focus on investment. We should focus on doing the things which we believe will lead to growth. Just like Carpenter invested resources into providing better salaries, so we can invest our time and energy into the practices which will lead people into spiritual growth.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Try to Measure the Unmeasurable

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