Thursday, July 31, 2008


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. ╬čur 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


NaNcY said...

i am sometimes reminded of my way of looking at things from a worldly measure. left wondering why i placed importance on something of little worth. i have compared people and things in worldly terms and perspectives only to be reminded of the decepton of that practice. success on earth is defined by each person for what would be their own gain, and end product. victory is actually given to us as a gift when we put our trust in Christ Jesus our Lord. we give up self, we surrender, allow God to have control, and in that is our victory. not at all how it is in the world without accepting the grace of Jesus.

i really do not think we have a need to measure anything.

for what God has to give us can not be measured, and anything else is for God to measure.

Milton Stanley said...

Amen, Nancy, I agree. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

NaNcY said...

may the Love of God fill you with His Grace and Peace, in Jesus.

you are a sweet and wonderful brother in Christ.

NaNcY said...

you have just been me!

preacherman said...

Wonderful words about this topic. It is so wanderful to see how God works successes in peoples lives today. Displaying the glory of God is still something to behold. I have enjoyed your blog and added you to my list of favs. Keep up the great work and have a great week!

Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for your encouragement, Kinney, and for linking to this blog. I don't keep a blogroll at the Dose, but your blog is linked from my more-read blog, Transforming Sermons. Thanks, too, for your excellent work at preacherman. peace.