1.2 Church Scoreboard

There it is on the back wall of every church, the sacred cow that every church lives and dies by. It is the scoreboard of all scoreboards… Attendance Today- Attendance Last Year- Offering. As churches this is how we measure success “Are we growing“, “are we making budget“.
Before I get to far into this, I think a healthy church will be a growing church, it will be a giving church, but to place one’s values in those aspects alone would be to place very earthly values on the church.

Here is my heart, what matters in church can’t be expressed on a scoreboard. How do you express that a church is growing in the knowledge of the lord. How do you express church members experiencing the joy of the lord in a new way. How do you express men and women grappling with tough questions in their faith and turning to trust scripture for the first time.
Mark 9:33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Whether in church or life, our temptation is to try to define greatness. Every pastor wants to be the next mega pastor, every church wants to be the its neighbor down the street. Ultimately we all covet what we do not have. If we stopped caring about numbers, we would start producing them.

When our reason for reaching out is to grow the church- are we not simply stoking the fire of our church ego? Evangelism should be done out of a humble loving heart, not a prideful self centered number loving heart.

Here is the problem- we find our value in an arbitrary set of numbers that do not communicate God’s work in a church. When our numbers do not go the way we wish, we look for ways of fixing them. We begin at this moment to look for the next great program, ministry, style that will elevate us to be the new hot church in the area.

It works, add a top notch children’s program, youth program, etc, and your target audience begins to find its way to your church. Where I take issue is that those families that join tend to join by letter and all you are doing is teaching people to become church consumers… when the next buffet opens, your families move on.

We as churches have become extremely busy filling score boards while our baptisteries’ remain empty… we are targeting the saved in our community. So where does our focus need to be? We need to refocus on making disciples from our members so that they do the work of ministry. We need to show people that we are more than a gathering of people who move from trend to trend. We need to let the lost know that we care about their souls, not their attendance. We need to move away from empty religion and grow to become the body of Christ.

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