What is a Successful Church?

Back in February I wrote a blog on how do you know when you are successful. I defined being successful as an individual as:

You are successful if you are faithfully seeking out God’s voice and doing what He asks you to do.

As leaders in the Church how do we know when we have a successful Church?

Yep – you guessed it. Here is my definition of a successful Church:

You are a successful Church if you have people who are seeking out God’s voice and doing what He asks you to do.

There is much anxiety among Church leaders about whether they are making a difference, are they successful, what direction should they go, am I doing a good job, why is not more people coming, etc. There is an entire Church industry around writing books, putting on conferences, making available church consultants, to help us grow successful churches.

In my opinion I think a large part of this anxiety is misguided. Jesus said that he gives us a light burden not the heavy one we carry around. It is misguided because our definition of success is wrong. We carry heavy burdens because we are trying to carry the wrong burden.

Success is measured by Jesus followers not the number of members.

Success is measured by how many people hear God’s voice better today than by how well we attract people to our meetings.

Here are some results if we help people to hear God’s voice that will lighten our load as leaders:

  • They will find out their gifts and the area they are to use them.
  • There lives will be affected by God’s voice to change more than our counseling affects them.
  • They will receive a passion to follow God’s voice into whatever areas that it takes them without us having to motivate them to do things for God.

You are a successful Church if you have people who are seeking out God’s voice and doing what He asks you to do.

I believe it’s really that simple. Everything else may be fine but it is not necessary. When people learn to follow God’s voice it is amazing how many things get straightened out and happens without a whole lot of input from us as leaders. When we join up with Jesus to help people follow his voice then our job becomes easier, fun, and an adventure as we watch to see where Jesus takes His people.

What do you think?

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