Anyone else have fantasies of best practices and quality control infiltrating Reformed pulpits and sessions? Is the church really above objective criteria and good metrics? These thoughts were spawned by this article about Pottery Barn's decision not to sell a coffee table many of their customers wanted and had already ordered.
I've asked profs to suggest to their doctoral candidates that they work to put together studies of churches that go beyond hip factors and numbers and dollars, to objective measures of ecclesiastical excellence. Maybe things like proportion of men to women, percentage of sons and daughters of the church who are active in... church at sixteen/twenty/twenty-four, number of officers' children under church discipline (the more there are, the worse? or better?), average number of children per marriage, racial diversity, percentage of income given to charity and the work of the Lord, proportion of mothers not holding full-time jobs, ratio of infant to adult baptisms, percentage of congregation in home fellowship groups, percentage of members in worship, incidence of divorce, proportion of session meetings spent on finances/budget/schedules as opposed to pastoral care, and so on.