Friday, February 26, 2010
This question is for church people....Pastors, Leaders, Elders, Members. If you are not a church person, keep reading...I'd love to hear your thoughts on this discussion. I grew up in church and, since I can remember, the identity of my church was always attached directly to the amount of people in the building AND the size of that building. Now if I ask any evangelical American pastor, "How do you define success in your church?" the answers will probably be predictable. Any well intentioned church leader is going to blurt out a rote answer like "the transformation of lives" or "discipleship and the development of passionate Christ followers." Good answers [I hope they're true!], but let's be honest...the real answer is NUMBERS. As a pastor your life is wrapped around those empty spaces in the parking lot on Sunday morning, or the lack thereof. It's where encouragement comes from. As leaders you talk about how "Awesome the worship was last Sunday!" coincidentally, "last Sunday" just so happened to be the largest gathering of the year. Sound familiar?
It's happening all over the country, and sometimes even in my own church. We say we are about the things of God and his Kingdom in our community throughout the week, but we put the majority of our time and money into 1 hour on Sunday [see question #4].
One of my new favorite people is a guy named Dave Gibbons. He asked 1200 pastors this same question last Tuesday morning while he drew the above diagram. He wants to re-define success. So do I. Maybe success should be less about Sunday morning and more about Monday-Saturday. Maybe success should be less about the number of people in your pews and more about the number of foster children and orphans who still need families in your city. Maybe success should be defined by a shrinking crime rate or the elimination of poverty. How do you define success? What's your answer?
Posted by jonathan c rich.... at 1:06 PM