I had the chance to talk on a local radio show this afternoon. We went into the show expecting to talk about independence but the topic quickly moved to churches and effectively managing change. It was interesting that we were able to cover several topics in relation which were all things I had been processing in the past week or so.
One caller mentioned she felt that all church growth books and blogs are trying to push everyone into a Mega-Church mentality. I could tell where she was going and was able to provide her with some information I had recently read on Ed Stetzer’s Blog. His latest post “Small is the Kingdom Big” is a great explanation on how we should rethink how we perceive churches. Many times, we equate the size of the church with the success of the church. While I’ll admit that there are conclusions that can be drawn, and that the question could be asked about why a small church continues to remain small, we cannot generalize the statement that small churches are not being Kingdom Effective. Stetzer also states that often time we suffer from a perception that is not based on reality. Much like a teenage girl gets discouraged because she doesn’t look like the girls in magazines, we can also get discouraged when our church doesn’t have all the glitz and glamour of a mega church budget.
How then should we measure the success of churches?
A case could be made that small churches remain small because they are not reaching their community. However, there are far too many factors to draw that conclusion. What if they are in a community of 50 people, what if they just planted a new church, etc.?
I am challenging myself to re-evaluate what matrix we use to measure churches. With the current downward trend of SBC churches, I wonder what the stats would show for the church as a whole.
Let me know what you might do to measure success or maintain a quantifiable analysis of your church activities.