“…each one must be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each builder’s work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done. If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. If someone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-16 (NET)
Strong families, teams, corporations, small businesses, governments, organizations, militaries, clubs, and the like all have something in common; a clear understanding of what success is for them. Well-mannered kids, a certain number of wins, profits, a target GDP, and battles won are examples of quantifiable success. Measuring success as a church can be a little bit trickier.
Spiritual achievement is often in the eye of the beholder and is less tangible. Is it a certain level of enthusiasm in worship, numeric growth, longevity, loving relationships, fidelity until the end, or level of financial sacrifice for the poor and the mission? Is it people and nations reached, churches planted, leaders trained, Christ-like transformation in the individuals and collective lives of the members, all or some of the above, etc, or something else? And who’s the decider that defines it?
Our church is a growing, spiritually sensitive, and emotionally close-knit community. We’re going through the process of asking our members what success as a church family looks like to them. We all have a general idea of what it is but want to drill down further. To this end, the thoughts of those who are stakeholders with skin in the game are invaluable.
It’ll be inspiring to see where God leads us and where we land. We refuse to be the “it’s never enough church” but we also refuse to be the “less than our best is okay church,” either. Our hope is to get better at being Jesus’ hands and feet. Let’s go get it!