Build Church: Look for the Right Signs of Health

We measure the wrong things sometimes. We look at what we have or what we don’t have and use them as the measure. Such a method is not wrong except what we end up with may just be a bunch of numbers which in reality don’t mean very much.

Success in building church can be very subjective but it has to be about more than bums on seats. It’s even got to be more than hands raised in response to a salvation prayer.

We have to look for the right signs health.

Metrics have their place but they should never just be for collection. They can however, prompt the right kind of conversations as a representation of what’s happening physically with people. How many are turning up to things, to Sundays? How often are they coming? How many salvations? How many baptisms? How many in Groups? Or doing the Growth Track, Alpha or any other think we could probably have a count for.

The other stuff can be more problematic and harder to define, yet possibly more important. Instead of recording how many did something, these measures represent spiritual vitality, a persons walk with Jesus and how they live it out.

Some of the following can help us discover what’s really happening inside the person, after all, attendance doesn’t necessarily mean growth. You would hope for some correlation but its not always guaranteed.

Stories of changed lives.
Hearing how people are moving one step further in their walk with God.
Discovering the way people take their Christian faith into the world in which they live.
Helping people discover and use their spiritual gifts.
Seeing disciples making disciples. People are bringing people to help them meet Jesus.

I think these fit better with the definition God would give to success. It is less about achievement and more about who we are as we achieve. Geared more round the growth of our character, becoming more like Jesus and the spiritual leadership we demonstrate every day.

You may have a different view and add other things to this list. I would love to hear what you think.

What Price Success?

I watched Dave Brailsford yesterday morning on BBC news. He is the performance coach for British Cycling and they were asking him how it is that we are seeing such success? His answer was simple…

Talent + Commitment + Coaching

You can have talent but if you don’t have commitment you won’t make it.

You can have commitment but without any talent, it might not be impossible but it will much be harder work.

Add great coaches to the mix – the team that think of every little thing that could possible enhance your performance and you are creating a recipe for success. He made a great statement – ‘If we can improve lots of little things by 1% then when you bunch them altogether, it will make a massive difference’.

Finally have a plan. Where do you want to be? Where are you now? What do you need to do to get there? That’s the plan. Then we work at executing the plan.

I love these thoughts and wonder how they would be played out when it comes to building local church? Maybe the equation would look more like this…

God-given Talent + Willingness to Commit + Holy Spirit + Intentional Development

…what do you think? Can we really afford to miss one of this out if we want to see local church grow, lives changed and the Kingdom of God extended?