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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

09 Sep '08

Measuring Success: What counts?

Posted by T.J. Addington in church, church leadership, missional clarity
Most of us would agree that measuring success is critical. If we don't know what we are after we won't know if we were successful. The trick is knowing what we ought to measure.

Take the local church for instance. It is common to measure the number of people who attend weekly. The higher our attendance, the higher our success. How often do we ask, "How many people attend your church?"

If numbers are our definition of success we are driven to increase the numbers and with a little marketing moxie one can do that. No problem.

Except - the New Testament definition of success for the church is not numbers but spiritual maturity - becoming like Jesus (Ephesians 4).

I was with a group of staff from churches of over 1,000 attendees recently. To a person, they were tired of talking numbers and wanted to talk "life change." They all know that you can grow the numbers but what they wanted to know is "How can we grow people who really look like and live like Jesus?"

The Great Commission is about more believers (much church growth today is simply believers trading places) and better believers. Evangelism and disciplemaking.

What do mature believers, Christ followers, better believers, look like? Church leaders across the world are grappling with that question focusing on ways that they can encourage those who have given their hearts to Christ to give their minds and their lives as well.

Ultimately life change is the measure of success. Success is not the quality of our facility, the excellence of our services, the diversity of our programming. Jesus is looking for fully devoted followers.

Here is the irony. Those churches that focus on helping people actually transform their lives so that they look, think and act as Jesus will grow! Focus on growth and you will get it - often with little life change. Focus on life change and you will get it - and you will grow numerically and spiritually.
What is the measure of success in your church?
Can you define and measure it?
Is your ministry focused to achieve it?

Something to think about.