A nice piece on effective youth ministry from Kurt Willems today. (HT: Rob Martin) Willems talks about his experience early in his career as a youth pastor where he was basically told that the worth of his ministry was related to how many students showed up. Willems suggests a different economy:
Many people ask me what we should measure if it’s not numbers and attendance. I think I’ve finally begun to figure this out. I recently took a course on church planting. In this class, one of the things we talked about was the need to change the ministry scorecard (to borrow Reggie McNeil’s language). Instead of measuring success by numbers and quotas, what if we measure success by stories of how God is at work through various signs of the kingdom that we see in our context? In other words, in ministry and in any church function, what is our primary goal? Is it to meet quotas? Is it you rant and rave about how many showed up? Nope, it’s not all about the numbers! It’s all about the kingdom!
If we want to know if a particular ministry is being “successful” we should ask the following question: What signs of the kingdom have we seen or experienced during the past week? All other measurements of success fall subservient to that single question.