For the next couple weeks, I’ll be confessing what I struggle with most in ministry.Â As I’ve been thinking about these things that frustrate me and tend to hold me back, I believe it’s the pretty similar to what I struggled with in church ministry…
How do yo define success?Â Is it numbers?Â Is it lives changed?Â Is it growth?Â Is it the sense of simply God’s will being accomplished?
I struggled with all of these actually.Â Each and every one…
We have goals and dreams for our mission ministry.Â We believe in what God has called us to.Â We believe so much that we want as many people as possible to be involved.Â We hope and pray that our ministry grows.Â We believe God has given us a mission.Â We believe it’s something worth doing.Â Something that’s good enough that it should grow?Â Is that success?
Instead of simply counting people, sometimes we talk about the number of lives changed.Â The number of people positively impacted by our ministry.Â But… how do you count that?Â Is it people starting their relationship with Jesus?Â For us, is it the number of people served because their lives are changed by the service?Â Is it just the total number of people involved because we trust that they are experiencing Jesus?Â I don’t know.Â I love the idea of tracking #’s this way but I don’t know the best way to do it.
I struggle.Â I struggle tracking #’s.Â I struggle with reporting #’s.Â I feel “up” when #’s are “good” and “down” when #’s are bad.Â I stress about why #’s aren’t “better.”Â I want to have a healthy relationship with #’s and our ministry.
Here’s where I’ve come to believe is a healthy way to look at #’s.Â It’s a good way to keep account of your ministry.Â You can track how many are involved overall, by event, compared to the beginning of the year, from the last time you checked, etc.Â It’s fine to look at #’s as part of that overall evaluation.Â The downside is when it is the only way you’re accounting for your ministry.Â If all you’re worried about is how many students you have, how many went to the last event, or how many more you have then when you started.Â That’s not a great way to exclusively evaluate the work God has given you to do.