So, what were your real and honest answers to the question, “How do you measure your ministry?” To read part 1 of this post click here.
Recently I asked our church staff this same question. There were a variety of answers we came up with. Then I shared this quote by Glenn Burris, “You measure ministry by the effectiveness of lives that are transformed.” The definition of transform is to change in composition or structure, to change the outward form or appearance, to change in character or condition or nature.
I then asked our staff to think about people in our church whose lives have been transformed – the structure of the foundation of their life has been altered, their countenance has changed and most importantly their very character and nature is radically different. One of the joys of ministry is watching people’s lives be transformed right before your eyes!
As we thought of people who have been transformed through the work Jesus has done through our church, I passed out sheets of paper and permanent markers and asked them to write their names down in large letters, one name per sheet. As many names as they could think of. As we did, we taped them up on the wall, one after another after another. Then we shared parts of their story with each other. Most of us were in tears as we recounted what their life was like before and what their life is like now. Stories of marriages healed after affairs, young people whose lives are now sold out for Christ, leaders who had been believed in and raised up to serve others, men and women who are becoming more and more like Christ and sharing Him with others.
As we looked at all those sheets of paper that represented changed lives, we asked ourselves what the common denominators were in these people’s lives. We narrowed it down to two basic things: #1) they surrendered their life to Christ and #2) someone invested in them. A surrendered life is their responsibility, investment is ours.
Though we were humbled and grateful for the many transformed lives, we recognized how easy it could be to rest on our laurels. Yet, in order for our church to continue to be effective, we need to be passionate about seeing more and more lives changed in structure, appearance, character and nature. We closed our time together in prayer, recommitting ourselves to the work God has called us to, energized by the encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
Thank You, Jesus, for the privilege to serve You as You change lives. I pray those in our churches will surrender their lives to You. We re-commit our lives to invest in others. Give us grace, strength and creativity! In Your name and for Your sake, Amen
Your Friend in Ministry,