Measures of Success

This is part of a House2House email recently – a short excerpt to consider. If you want to receive the House2House email regularly, go to http://www.house2house.net

It raises a good question … “how many people were ‘saved’ & added to our church last year?” & a good follow-on question is more personal … “How many people have been ‘saved’ & added to our church in the past 1 (or 10) years through MY personal relationships (or my family)????

In typical non-missional churches, the answer to this is usually quite sad – ‘we’ rely on the church programs & advertising to try to add a few people to the church (often people who are already Christians), rather than taking personal responsibility for mission to our friends & community.

My prayer is that more people will think & act as missionaries to their community …. “If I was a missionary, what would I do?” … let that be the question on our hearts …. Or … “I am a missionary here .. what should I be doing?”

Blessings, David Allis

“I was equally stuck by comments made by Steve and Marilyn Hill ([email protected]), as they quoted from the book, Why Men hate Going To Church: “One New Year’s Eve I asked my pastor a very straight forward question: ‘How many adults came to faith in Christ at our church this year?’ The pastor, a very diplomatic man, said, ‘I am not sure. I’ll have to get back to you on that.’ But he and I knew the answer. It was zero.”

“I added it up. That year our church conducted 104 regularly scheduled worship services, 7 special services, some 250 adult classes, 600 committee meetings and 1,000 small-group meetings and ran through a $750,000 budget to produce exactly zero new adult followers of Jesus Christ. We gathered. We worshiped. We loved each other. But we produced no crop. Our church was a contraption worthy of Rube Goldberg: lots of sound, motion, fury to produce a tiny amount of fruit. . . How do we conceal this scandalous lack of productivity? Some clever churches have simply changed the definition of crop. Churches now judge success by the standards of a family reunion. How many people came and did everyone get along?”

The challenge to all of us as we head out into another year of this exciting journey of following God on the simple church trail is, “Are we listening to Him, and when He speaks are we obeying?” For many, the good news is that they really are experiencing more of the Lord as they grow through simple churches. Barna in his most recent studies shows that there is a significantly higher level of satisfaction in house churches than there is within the traditional church structures. Let’s build on this by actively seeking the Lord to impact every part of our daily lives, and not just our meetings together.”