Tuesday, September 8

Facts and figures don’t always spell success

How do you spell "success?" The following may help:

written by Stephan Joubert

Stephan JoubertFacts and figures (the right ones!) usually impress people. When thousands of people show up to listen to a well-known preacher or a singer at events, many call it a roaring success. Well, I’m not against large crowds attending religious events or church services, but when attendance becomes the definition for success in Christianity, we are in serious trouble.

Far too many preachers are nowadays being marketed as crowd drawing celebrities on numerous church programs and flyers for upcoming religious events. But is this what religious leaders or churches should be known for? Did we all get stuck in that infamous bodies/budget/buildings = success syndrome? Why do we uncritically apply the rest of the world’s definitions of success in church time and time again?

Perhaps I’m the only stranger in Jerusalem, but I’m convinced that Jesus focused more on reaching individuals, outcasts, marginalised persons and the poor than on getting people to fill buildings, revival meetings, worship events, etc. Success to Jesus means sowing one mustard seed a time. Yes, I know that mustard seeds multiply, as Jesus teaches us in Matthew 13. But to uncritically equate this kind of growth with large crowds at Christian events is not correct. The real test for kingdom growth is discipleship. Followers of Jesus who make the right impact for him in their everyday lives are the correct answer.

Crowds and audiences don’t really change the world. Yes, they fill seats. Yes, they cheer, sing, celebrate and rejoice. But the real change-agents in our world are individuals and small groups of committed followers of Christ. They understand and embody the difference between fans and disciples.

Facts and figures don’t always spell success | echurch

1 comment:

Pastor Bob Leroe said...

We likely need to re-define success.