When we talk about measuring, the image the most likely comes to mind is some kind of metric. We are a very precise and scientific people.
But how do we measure things in the kingdom of God? How do individual believers know if they are growing in their faith? How do churches know if they are successful? How do we know if we are making progress?
What is the standard of measurement for Christians and churches in 2 of the most common areas that we try to measure: success and growth?
How do we measure success in God’s kingdom?
For the pastor…if a sermon goes well? For a believer…if we can lead someone to Christ? For a church…if a program is well attended? For the musicians/choir/praise team…If you knock it out of the park and get lots of “great job” responses?
I think we all know that those aren’t the answers. So, how do we measure success?
The answer is found in one word – faithfulness.
In the kingdom of God success is measured by faithfulness.
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ – Matthew 25:23
How do we measure growth in God’s kingdom?
We live in a world that is obsessed with constant growth. Companies get hammered in the stock market if they don’t meet growth estimates, etc. Churches in particular are very concerned with growth, probably as a result of the recent (last 30 years) church growth movement. So how do we measure growth?
Attendance numbers? Baptism numbers? Quantity of programs?
Numbers do have a degree of importance (if nobody’s showing up there’s probably a serious problem), but we know the answer is not found there.
Again, one word – fruit.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. – John 15:1-2
In the kingdom of God, growth is measured in organic ways…are you producing anything?
When you measure the growth of your children, hard numbers are important (height, weight, eyesight, etc), but the vast majority of measurements are organic.
- There are no hard measurements for your child’s growth in their music lessons.
- There are no hard measurements for your child’s growth in character.
For the most part, we measure the growth of a person organically. This is true for the spiritual life as well. Are we producing fruit? Are we moving from being a spiritual consumer to a spiritual producer?
Faithfulness and Fruit – the measurement tools in the kingdom of God. How are you measuring up?