Thursday, December 13, 2007

How do you define success?

This discussion thread started me to thinking about how you define "success" in terms of a church? Is it missional activity? Is it the number of people in attendance on Sunday morning? Is it the number of people converting to Christianity? Is it lives changed? Is it......?

I lean toward the school of thought that Christ will transform lives and the fruit of that transformation will manifest itself in the way the individual sees the world around him/her and interacts with the lost and hurting world in which we live. If they adopt the attitude that they have their "fire insurance" and don't really have to do anything else, that may not be the poster child you want to use in your success stories.

What do you think? I'd love to hear how you define success for a church. Post a comment and let's talk.


stacey said...


I don't think it can be said any better than you just did!

The only thing that I would add would be that each person in the body has the responsibility of protecting the unity of the church through prayer and always being on guard against spiritual warfare.

More importantly, we should realize that personal and corporate prayer is the key to all unity and success....literally the cord that connects us to the ultimate power source...God.

I truly believe that the success or strength of a church is directly relational to the people that are actively involved in deep personal prayer time and committed to corporate prayer time.

Imagine what could happen if our prayer groups were the size of our Sunday morning services!

Rick said...

Success can only be defined by the individual. When we start to place
success on numbers, converts, etc... we take a human approach and
institutionalize a process that is not meant to be. We read stories
of Pentacost, we attend events like Promise Keepers or other
evangelistic outreaches and see thousands saved at one time and define
that event a success. It cannot escape the question of committment or
emotion? How can you define a church a success if they have a high
number of people in attendance? There are churches, who will remain
nameless to protect the inocent, who would tell you they have not
arrived when their attendance is reaching in the 4000 per weekend
range. Their membership is much lower, around 1000, but they feel
they have so much more to do. From their own admission, if people are
not changed to live for Christ, if they are not being freed from
addictions, or it they are not living in peace even in trials, then
they have not succeeded. Meeting our budgets don't cut it, passing
out a flyer or two and have someone come in through the doors 2 times
a year does not cut it. Having regular attenders do not cut it. If
you are being used to help change lives and bring people to Christ
then you are not succeeding, no matter where the person lives, goes to
church, or works!

Rick said...

I agree with Stacey...however one issue with the comment. If we just stop at prayer we miss the part of the point. Just like faith without works is dead, prayer without action is useless!