10 July 2008 ~ 3 Comments

Measuring Success

Lately it seems like God’s kinda been messing with my paradigm of
what success looks like.  The brutal truth is, at our church, in the
city of Santa Cruz, Sunday services can be pretty hit and miss.  It’s
easy to get discouraged when I look out on a Sunday morning and see 70%
of the mass I’m used to.

Numbers in attendance at Sunday
gatherings has long been a measure of success for us in churches, and,
truth be told, a validation of our worth as pastors quite often.  Not
healthy, I know…nut true.  But as I start to name many of the people
I don’t see, I also realize a large number of them are very involved in
the actual life of the church.  They are people who are doing ministry
outside our church regularly.  They are people who are active in taking
Jesus to the people that surround them everyday.

For a long time
I’ve felt that I’d rather see a church that is alive and active
throughout the week, and that is more important than showing up on
Sunday.  But it’s a lot harder to actually consider the real life
implications of this.  And believe me, we have a long way to go in both
areas in our faith community, but it’s just really had my dome spinning.

Last week I found this post via Monday Morning Insight
In a class with Len Sweet they talked about measures of success within
your church.  Measures outside of numbers of butts in seats or amount
of money given.   Here are a couple of my favorites:

  • The number of adoptions people in the church have made from local foster care.
  • The number of pictures on the church wall of unwed mothers holding their newborn babies in their arms for the first time.
  • The number of phone calls from community leaders asking the church’s advice.
  • The number of emergency finance meetings that take place to reroute money to community ministry.
  • The number of people serving in the community during the church’s normal worship hours.
  • The number of churches your church planted in a 10 mile radius of your own church.

Please, go here and read the other 13 he shares.

lot of these things are a much better depiction of the heart of Jesus
than showing up for an hour and a half on Sunday morning.  Don’t get me
wrong.  That is important also, but I’d rather see ministry happening
throughout the week.  So why don’t we look at these things as much?  I
think because they are harder to measure.  And they don’t stroke our
own ego’s nearly as much as filling the sanctuary on Sunday morning.

So, how about you?

How would/should/do you measure the success of your/our/a church?

3 Responses to “Measuring Success”