measuring church

How do you measure church? 

This coming Sunday is our church’s annual Farmer Sausage BBQ (yes, this is a shameless plug for our super amazing - and yummy - event!). It’s a chance to connect together as a congregation as well as invite folks in our neighborhood to “check us out.”

An inevitable question is this: “Was the event a success?”

And the inevitable answer revolves around attendance, especially if people return the next week. In some ways, this is normal and good.

But not always.

There is the danger in the life of a church to measure quantity while forgetting quality - especially problematic if we forget the Bible’s standards for success. Sure, one could look at the church in the Book of Acts and the records of miraculous multiplication that took place. From a roomful to 3000 (Acts 2:41)! Numbers do matter, right!?!

Numbers can be helpful, but they aren’t the point. Acts doesn’t stop at the quantity - it’s the quality of the event that really matters:
[the believers] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42).
This passage highlights how the Christian community committed to life together. Faith, relationships, worship, food, and prayer typified their event, their experience of being together. Normal aspects of everyday life done together. Their event wasn’t measured by sharing statistics - it was about sharing life.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35)
So on Sunday, like the very first church events, I look forward to sharing life together as a church, inviting our neighborhood and community to join us. We’ll eat (it is our 4th annual farmer sausage BBQ after all!). We’ll worship and pray. We’ll play and connect. We’ll eat some more.

Yes, measuring success will be a little more difficult. Heads will likely be counted, but we’ll know this is not the full story. After all, church is about the immeasurable work of God in our life together.

I can’t wait.


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