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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Success?

How do you measure a successful event?  Often we measure what we can see.  We count the number of people who show up.  We count the offering.  We count the number of books or materials sold.
Success?
We had a men’s ministry event several years ago and less people showed up than we had hoped.  One of the men prayed to open the event and remarked that he was disappointed in the number before he prayed.  I talked to him later and suggested that he may be using the wrong measure.

I have done workshops where one person showed up.  Was that a success?  My answer is, yep.

Large group activities are great for getting the juices flowing.  Not so good for life change.  There is no life connection with the speaker.  It is easy to listen and not really interact with the message.  In a small group or one on one situation there is more opportunity for dialog.  For processing the Word together, to really make sure understanding is taking place.

Throughout the gospel of Mark Jesus focused on the twelve.  He consistently turned away from the crowds and focused on making sure that the twelve understood.  Look at Mark 4:33 – 34, the last phrase says it all, “He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.”  He shared parables with the crowds.  But the twelve got the goods.

We may measure success by the wrong standard.  Rather than the number in the seats, perhaps the better measure is the number who really engage and are not only understanding, but actively sharing what they are learning with others.

More observations from Mark tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more, and have know some humble, unimpressive and unlikely individuals whom God has used in a spectacular way.

    And that's the key truth, is it not? God used them. The only real criteria I know for that is 2 Chron. 16:9, "...the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."

    "A heart fully committed to Him" implies trust in God Himself, not abilities, intellect, even gifts. Faith in God is what allows Him to move mountains through one man or woman (Mark 9:23, 11:22-25).

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