Personally, I think that obedience to God is the only meaningful measurement of success for a follower of Christ, or for a church – that is, a group of followers of Christ. However, Hamo at “Backyard Missionary” has pointed us to some interesting ways to measure success in his post called “Re-Imagining Success“. Here are some suggested measurements:
1. The number of cigarette butts in the church parking lot.
2. The number of adoptions people in the church have made from local foster care.
3. The number of pictures on the church wall of unwed mothers holding their newborn babies in their arms for the first time.
4. The number of classes for special needs children and adults
5. The number of former convicted felons serving in the church
6. The number of phone calls from community leaders asking the churchâ€™s advice
7. The number of meetings that take place somewhere besides the church building
8. The number of organizations using the church building
9. The number of days the pastor doesnâ€™t spend time in the church office but in the community
10. The number of emergency finance meetings that take place to reroute money to community ministry
11. The amount of dollars saved by the local schools because the church has painted the walls
12. The number of people serving in the community during the churchâ€™s normal worship hours
13. The number of non-religious-school professors worshiping with you
14. The number of people wearing good, free clothes that used to belong to members of the church
15. The number of times the church band has played family-friendly music in the local coffee shop
16. The number of people who have gotten better because of free health clinic you operate
17. The number of people in new jobs thanks to the free job training center you opened
18. The number of micro-loans given by members in your church
19. The number of churches your church planted in a 10 mile radius of your own church
These “measurements” certainly help us recognize that if we are in the reconciliation business, there are going to be people around us at different stages of maturity. And, we are going to see broken people bring their brokenness into our meetings and our meals. But, if things look too perfect, then you can bet that something is wrong.