Wednesday, May 6, 2015

So, How'd We Do?

Image result for outcomeI was reading some stuff on congregational development, not that I am involved in it or that anyone at the AKSE Officer Recycling Center has a clue that they need to change direction.  You need goals first.  There is a literature on this from a number of sources.  USCJ runs a course for representatives of their member congregations, though I feel justifiably skeptical of their experts who have managed to steer the decline of their constituency fairly steadily for about a generation.  But at least they have a plan and a curriculum that anyone with access to cyberspace can read.  Nothing outlandish about it at all, except when you get to the end which fails to include any means of assessment by the congregational representatives of what succeeded and what did not.  I could say the same of their Framework for Excellence that their honcho's assembled to upgrade congregational education at a time we were trying to merge the AKSE Hebrew School with theirs.  Again, lots of things to engage in but no means of measuring outcome.  A decade into this, I'm underwhelmed by the Hebrew literacy of the congregational alumni, though the sample is rather small.

Ultimately there are metrics imposed on the organizations, things like dues collections from a declining membership that may or may not change with the strategic planning effort, how many Bar Mitzvahs the congregation sponsors and whether the kids are more proficient at worship or at their Mitzvah projects.  But I think it would be better if the assessment of success were decided in advance of the effort.  Baalebatim, though, do not seem to want to incur that risk.

No comments: