- Bible studies
- Large Sunday gathering attendance
- A praise team (or a choir)
- Lots of volunteers
- Lots of well attended events
- Large budgets
- A facility
- Lots of programs (youth, children, music, etc.)
- A really cool website
- A quality livestream of your Sunday gatherings
When you take a look at this list, you will find that most of these things are good, and some of them even great. Many of these things may even be done to the highest of quality and with great fervor and excitement.
But none of these things, in and of themselves, are indicators that your local church body is healthy, growing, thriving, or carrying out the mission to take the gospel to the world and produce disciples.
As the modern church, we place a lot of value on these things as metrics for the health of our church.
But should we?
Are these things really why we exist?
Short answer is…no.
Instead, each of these things ought to be measured against one single metric:
Is X [replace X with whatever it is] producing disciples that go and produce other disciples?
When this becomes our measuring stick, we can now hold it up to everything we do and determine if we are functioning in a healthy and missional way.
- If your bible studies are producing disciples that produce other disciples then this is a healthy bible study.
- If your large Sunday gatherings are being utilized to produce disciples that produce other disciples then this is a healthy gathering.
- If your music team (praise team or choir or something altogether different) is producing disciples that produce other disciples then this is a healthy music team.
- If your volunteers are being discipled and they in turn are producing other disciples then this is a healthy group of volunteers.
- If your well attended events are reaching the lost and open the door for them to become disciples who produce other disciples, then your events are healthy events.
- If your budgets are being utilized to be on mission in your community and helping create disciples who produce other disciples, then your budgets are being utilized in a healthy way.
- If your facility is being utilized to produce disciples who produce other disciples, then your building is being utilized in a healthy way.
- If your website is being utilized to provide resources and tools to help produce disciples who produce other disciples, then your website is being utilized in a healthy way.
- If your livestream is being utilized to provide additional discipleship opportunities, or is truly reaching people with the gospel, then your livestream is being utilized in a healthy way.
When “producing disciples who produce disciples” becomes our ultimate metric rather than the thing we do (in and of themselves) being the ultimate metric, suddenly everything we do stops being the ruling metric and simply becomes an avenue of discipleship and mission.
So yes…we can absolutely do these things, or have these things, but only if these things are producing or are helping to produce disciples who go and produce other disciples.
Don’t be too proud that you refuse to take an honest look at something and determine if it is truly hitting the mark.