North Americans are fond of success, and Christians here are prone to think of how to make our congregations successful. We measure success with different numbers: doors knocked, baptisms done, new members welcomed, service rendered, dollars donated, posteriors planted in pews. Οur standards of measurement vary, but no one seems to doubt that the church ought to be successful.
Isn't it interesting, then, that the New Testament never uses the word “success” in relation to the church? In fact, the NT writers aren't nearly as concerned about measuring success as with simply going about the life of discipleship: glorifying God, encouraging one another, and growing in Christ. Sure, you can make a case that whatever we call it, doing those things all add up to success. But in our quest for success, let's not forget something more powerful than success: victory. And Jesus already has that one under control.
(c) Copyright 2008, A. Milton Stanley