Thabiti Anyabwile writes a helpful and insightful article on a very touchy subject. Here’s the first paragraph:
Perhaps one of the most important things to settle in ministry and as a church is how to define “success.” Without question, we all have some notion of what constitutes “success.” And whether it’s explicit or implicit, whether it’s written down or unspoken, our notion of success drives our behavior and our self evaluation.
Very often churches and church leaders define their “success” in terms of numbers. Some defend measurement as an acceptable approach to gauging progress and effectiveness. They speak of the number of baptisms or converts, church attendance and budgets, and other numerical assessments as shorthand for “success.” Others reduce “success” to one factor: faithfulness. ”Whether the numbers change or not,” this group tells us, “is not the issue. The issue is whether a leader and church have been true to God’s design and intent.”
Here’s what both points of view can sometimes miss:
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