Dear Woodview friends and family,
I recently read an article talking about what churches should measure. Should they measure attendance, giving, guests, the number of people serving? Now, yes; we measure all those things -- but none of those necessarily give a clear indication of whether or not we are successfully fulfilling our mission. A church might have great attendance numbers, but low engagement; or giving might reflect the economic level of the congregation and not really their heart.
So it made me think about what our church should be measuring. Yes, we will continue to monitor all the above because they do tend to indicate something. But they are not the best measurement for whether or not our church is living out its mission (and, by the way, the church is us -- whether or not we are living on mission).
Our mission is a paraphrase of Matthew 28:19-20 and it says that we are here to help people connect and reconnect with Jesus. So here are the two things we will start measuring and the two things that will help us know if we are being successful or not:
1. Am I having conversations that point people to Jesus who have never expressed faith in Jesus and/or who are not living for Jesus? We might have good attendance, giving might be up, and people might be serving -- but if no one is talking to others about Jesus we are not living in obedience and we are not living like Jesus.
2. Are the people I am having those conversations with having those kinds of conversations with others? You see, it can't just be about who I can reach...it has to be about those I reach reaching others! It can't just be making converts...it has to be about making disciples! It can't just be addition...it has to be about multiplication.
And this is a change from how most churches have actually functioned for many years and continue to function! Most people in churches think that evangelism is the responsibility of the pastor...in fact, there are some church groups that actually call the pastor the "Evangelist." But sharing Jesus...helping people connect and reconnect with Jesus, is the commanded responsibility of each and every Christian.
And this is a change from how most churches have actually functioned for many years and continue to function because most people in churches think the goal is converts and adding members. But Jesus commanded us to make disciples. Converts and members are words that speak of addition; disciple is a multiplication word.
Hope to see you Sunday as we continue in our look at Ephesians.
Jon B. Stradtner