Friday, March 08, 2013


Occasionally, I will come across a discussion among Jesus followers of what constitutes success. Many churches follow a group of metrics that is more consistent with business than the type of model Jesus described. This includes things like: counts of service attendees, amounts of money given, conversions and baptisms. Given that a modern church, in the West especially, is usually incorporated, and therefore, in the legal sense, a business, keeping these sort of counts, as well as a balanced check book and up to date ledgers, is a good and sensible practice.

But scripture's description of what a church should be like is quite different from a business. It is a family, a body, a community, an army and an athletic team. It has elements of all these, but cannot be said to be totally any of them. Its success should have different metrics, because its goals and methods are different.

It is a family, because of the intimacy and loyalty it should produce. It is a body, because its members have a diversity of function and an interdependence of those functions. It is a community, because of its commonalities. It is an army, because of its self-sacrifice and commitment to its mission.  It is a team, because it works together to achieve its goals.

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