Can We Moneyball Scripture Engagement?


The world of baseball has always been crazy for statistics, but in the early 2000s an innovative executive took a new approach, looking at which stats actually led to victories. This strategy, labeled Moneyball, radically changed the game.

So what’s the game-changer in church leadership?

It might be something similar. We’ve all been looking at demographic data for decades now, but what are we supposed to do with it? The strategic questions might be: Are we looking at the right statistics? And what insights can we glean to fuel more effective ministry?

For the better part of a decade, American Bible Society has partnered with the Barna Group to look at how Americans interact with Scripture. This yields important information about Bible engagement, but we long to know even more. What can we learn about people’s curiosity? What obstacles are keeping some away from Scripture? What issues do they have questions about?

We’ve begun to find answers to those questions. Most importantly, we can get those answers for your specific geographical area.

How could you use such data? How would it shape your ministry strategy?

You might preach and teach about the matters that matter to your neighbors. You might start entry-level Bible studies in the most curious communities near you. You might adjust your church advertising to challenge the misperceptions your neighbors have about the Bible and those who believe it.

The numbers are only part of the solution. Effective ministry depends on what you do with those numbers. And that’s where you come in. We’d love to compare notes about how you respond to this new data. What ministry options arise? What new methods will the numbers support?

Justin Taylor