We all want one. At some point in time, we’ve all wanted some sure fire metric to know we’re being “successful” in ministry. And we’ve usually measured it by people in the pews and dollars in the plate.
What if it could be more than that? What if it might be something with a great Kingdom measure, but it doesn’t run directly to the numbers we have on any given Sunday? The problem with that? It’s hard to brag on! It doesn’t get you on the platform at your denominational meetings!
This past week I had lunch with a good friend. I’ve been in their life for awhile now because I want to see what God could not only do in their life… but mine. Can I learn to truly love, stretch, bring Kingdom blessing into their life even if I don’t understand what is exactly going on? Can I just trust the work of the Spirit without seeing something tangible result (specifically, see them come to my church)?
This past week I was at a fundraising dinner for our public high school. My private Christian college had their dinner the same same night. I was asked to give the invocation at the public high school scholarship fundraising dinner. Go figure.
I was able to touch base with people who love their schools, love their kids, and don’t go to my church. I touched base with quite a few believers who go to other churches and love the school district where they work. They live as light in the place where they serve.
And on this Sunday, I won’t see any of those folks in my church building.
What a waste.
J R Briggs in his book, Fail, has a different thought:
The metric of ministry in the way of Jesus is rooted in the kingdom, which is more expansive than just a local church. It is oriented around a process, not a product. It does not ask, “Have we arrived?” Nor does it say, “Show me what you’ve done.” Instead, it wonders if its people are moving toward or away from Jesus.
Are we delivering an efficient product, or are we developing the character of Christ in others? Are we developing Christ in us?