I don't know where we got the idea that church success should be measured in nickels and noses (or attendance and dollars).
I affirm that large numbers in church are better than small and more money for ministry is better than less. But if Jesus' goal is to build his church, I believe there are better questions than, "How many were here last week? And How much did they give?"
Here are a few suggestions for better ways to measure great ministry:
1. Salvations. How many have come to Christ in our church? Jesus asked us to make disciples. The first step in that process is moving from unbelief to belief.
2. Baptisms. How many have been baptized? Public proclamation is a great second step of faith.
3. Faith-sharing. How many members of our church have shared their faith in the last few years? The Great Commission was given to all believers, not just pastors and evangelists. The actual work of conversion belongs to God, but he asks every believer to share their faith.
4. Community transformation. How have we influenced our city? This question doesn't measure qualitative or quantitative growth directly, but caring for the needy and rectifying injustice is an important by-product of a vibrant faith.
5. Kingdom ministry. What are we doing to help the wider body of Christ? During Spurgeon's ministry, the Metropolitan Tabernacle developed sixty ministries to help other churches and the poor. Life Church's development of the YouVersion Bible is a modern example. How well are we participating in God's work outside our church?
6. Church planting. How many new churches have we started or helped start? The true fruit of an apple tree isn't an apple. It's another apple tree. The more apple trees, the more fruit. This is why church planting is the most effective means to reach people for Christ. Ministry is accelerated when it's multiplied.
7. Movement planting. How are we helping with world-changing movements? Movements aren't limited to one church; they spread from one to another. If it's good to launch a Bible reading movement in your church, isn't better to launch a Bible-reading movement in several churches? Other movements might focus on prayer, fasting, a social cause or the like.
Since church planting is the most effective means to reach people for Christ, the ultimate movement is a church planting movement. If planting a church is like adding a second apple tree, developing or supporting a movement of church planting is like adding an entire orchard.
What Are You Measuring?
What are you counting? Is it numbers and dollars, by default? Or are you looking at the results that measure spiritual transformation?
Hal Seed is the founding and Lead Pastor of New Song Community Church in Oceanside, California. New Song is launching a new campus every year and has seen over 17,000 people come to Christ. Hal mentors pastors to grow bigger, better churches. He offers resources to help church leaders at pastormentor.com.
For the original article, visit pastormentor.com.
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