Is the UMC heading the way of No Child Left Behind?

The Associated Press had this little article the other day which made me think of the UMC's latest push to move toward greater concern about 'metrics'.

Nation wide the UMC is requiring a number of different metrics to be counted and logged into a network online.  Basic stuff really.  The UMC is saying that it is important to assess where each church is and by counting these different metrics (people in worship, dollars given away, baptisms, etc.) we can begin to set goals for each local church.  These goals will be able to help churches who might be "failing".

Ten years ago the USA adopted the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act which sounds rather similar to what the UMC currently saying.  NCLB has been exposed for radically falling short of its intended goals (irony if I have ever heard of it).  Students are falling behind in math and science and funding is being cut in all areas that are not test related.  Teachers are expected to focus on the numbers of the test and students become stats on a spreadsheet.

If the UMC is really embracing the almighty metrics, then might we be wise enough to know that just because people are in worship they are not being spiritually formed.  Just because the books might not show service hours does not mean people are not serving their neighbor.  Even if people do not know the micro stories of the Bible does not mean the macro narrative is not guiding their lives.

If you are in the UMC I encourage you to read this short article and heed the warnings that we can learn from the failings of the NCLB act.