Reggie McNeil wrote a good book called Missional Renaissance, Changing the Scorecard for the Church. His subtitle explains in six words what I’ve been feeling, but unable to express succinctly. For many churches, it’s time to “redefine the win.”
For years, the most important measurements of success for churches in my circles were attendance, salvations, baptisms and the budgets.
(These measurements of success were often reflected in my conversations with other pastors. “So, how many people did you have at church last Sunday? What’s your annual budget?”)
In my mind, those traditional markers of success will always be worthy of measuring, but the scorecard for tomorrow’s church must be broader.
- Bigger crowds don’t necessarily mean bigger success. (A church could offer free beer and draw a crowd.)
- Bigger budgets (leading to bigger buildings) don’t necessarily equal bigger success.
- Salvations and baptisms would surely be celebrated in heaven, but these celebrations should be the beginning of success and not the end goal.
This week I’ll write about three other ways to measure success.