Counting The Cost

Measuring your ministry will help to increase its impactd-MinOut-Service


I’m a numbers guy. I love to challenge people with goals we can measure. So when God called the Rock Church to be “first responders” in sharing God’s love in the community, naturally I looked for ways to measure our success.

First, some background. I started the Rock Church in San Diego in 2000. By God’s grace it has grown to be the city’s largest, averaging 12,500 worshippers each Sunday. With that comes some incredible opportunities and challenges. The biblical stances we have taken on politically charged debates sometimes put the Rock in opponents’ cross hairs. But they also open doors to ministry and to relationships with community leaders.

San Diego County is approximately the size of the state of Connecticut. Like many regions in the United States these days, we’re facing serious budget cuts and reduced services. Likewise, the city of San Diego, the eighth largest in the U.S., is hurting. One out of every 10 people are without work, and more than 12 percent live below the poverty line.

Your situation may be different, but here’s what we share: There is tremendous firepower sitting in your church. God has a plan to unleash this power in your community.

It is based on what I refer to in my book, Do Something!: Make Your Life Count, as the “5 P’s” that apply to Jesus’ life. Jesus was Prepared to do something, had a simple Purpose behind what He did, and did not let Pain hinder Him. He also utilized the Holy Spirit’s Power and was fueled by a Passion to never quit.

Each one of these 5 P’s applies to our individual lives, too. In fact, He calls us to accomplish even more than He did. Remember John 14:12? Jesus told his disciples, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

Those “greater works” are our ministries, including our community volunteering. Let me be clear that the Rock isn’t interested in fame or acclaim. We’re also not just doing things as a come-on so we can slam people with the gospel. It’s who we are. We

re called to be the “first responders” to our neighbors’ pain and needs—to BE Christ in our community.

But I believe measuring what we do is important. Measurement is a tool that can encourage our volunteers, challenge Christians to think big, connect with other churches and convey to the community the value of what we are doing in their midst. It also is language that public officials understand.

So how do we measure what we do? We publicly tally our volunteer hours and attach an estimated hourly rate. In 2010 the people of the Rock Church donated 706,313 hours internationally, including 228,765 hours for the city of San Diego. That saved local government more than $4 million in labor and resources.

Based on attendance, this comes out to be approximately one hour per person per week for 50 weeks. For a church of 100, that formula would translate into 5,000 hours for one year. Think what impact that would have on your community—whether you live in Manhattan or Middle America.

The Rock Church now has more than 100 ministries led by Rock attendees. From cancer care to an outreach for strippers, they blow my mind. But this outreach is not anything that any church anywhere couldn’t do too. For ideas, go to So start measuring your impact on your community today.

Miles McPherson, a former NFL player with the San Diego Chargers, is the senior pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego. He is also founder of, which unites churches, governments and organizations across the globe to be a catalyst for changing their communities through God-inspired volunteerism. The author of Do Something!: Make Your Life Count, Miles is a member of the International Apostolic Council of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches.

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