There has been a recent verbal conversation I have had with several people about how to define success in a church. Is it always growth in numbers? Is it spiritual growth, but how do you measure that? It seems we get into a trap of comparison with other churches here too. They have built a new building before us or a bigger building. Or they added on before we did. And then we wonder what they are doing and what we aren’t. Do we need to copy it.
Here is a thought from my youth pastor friend in Colorado Springs. His church is in the city, so he has some more urban issues to deal with than our traditional Jo Co church. I told him about our conversation about defining success in a church and asked for his thoughts. Here they are:
“Success” in ministry is an interesting situation.
I think there are seasons in ministry. Sometimes there is incredible harvest in terms of reaching new people for Christ. This youth ministry went from 50 to 180 in about 2 years; that was right before I came. Then the realization set in that we had a lot of students who needed to be discipled; so we weren’t so worried about growing the numbers because we had to deepen and grow spiritually those students we already had. For me, just getting a student through high school can be considered a
I thought the ‘seasons’ comment made perfect sense. It isn’t all about numbers, but we have to be able to recognize where we are at any given time.