Measurable verses Not-so-measurable

This is that time of year when we at DOOR start to think in terms of measurable and not-so-measurable.  Over the course of the summer, we will host approximately 3,000 youth and young adults in our Discover program

Each week will be full of memorable and life changing experiences.  We hope participants return home with a new understanding and appreciation for what God is doing in the city.  Many participants will be asked to give a report of what they accomplished shortly after returning home.  These reports go really well when there are “before” and “after” pictures, stories and testimonies.

Great before and after does not always happen and it rarely tells the complete story.  Before and after is another way of talking about measurable accomplishments.  When we reduce mission, ministry and service to measurability, we end up with a limited understanding of what God is doing and where God’s heart is.

Sometimes the most important activity we can engage in is to sit and listen.  Listening is not-so-measurable, but it is important, even vital.

Most of us who are involved in full-time ministry have a group or board whom we are accountable to.  It is easy to fall into the trap of “before and after.”  Board members likewise fall into the temptation of accountability through measurability.

I am not saying that measurability is not important – it is.  I am advocating for the not-so-measurable stuff, or at least rethinking how and what we try to measure.

By the time Jesus was hanging on the cross, he was down to 11 disciples.  It would be hard to describe that as a success.

By every measurable standard, Jesus failed. Good thing he was not held to that standard.

Those 11 disciples ended up changing the world.

Are you giving yourself space to engage the not-so-measurable?



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2 responses to “Measurable verses Not-so-measurable

  1. Val Hurd

    Thank you, Glenn, for your words of wisdom. We are so focused on “accountability through measureability”, as you so aptly put it. We need to understand that God doesn’t require each of his followers to be the sower, the waterer, and the reaper once the gospel has been presented to the individual. I believe that the majority of Christians are called to sow the “seed” of the Gospel in whatever way it is presented, through word and/or action. Many more of us are involved in the “watering” aspect, thereby building on what another has planted in an individual. And some of us are blessed to be able to be there when the seed has grown to the point when the reaping can take place.
    I grew up with the impression that I had to be involved in all three aspects of a person’s response to the Gospel of Jesus, and because of that impression, I spent many years feeling that Jesus was very disappointed in me.
    It is so freeing when we realize that we are called only to be Christ-like, and in being that, the Gospel does what it does in individuals in whatever stage we are involved. This is not to say that we are involved in a passive presentation of the Gospel. It is always an active presentation, but the involvement takes an infinite number of forms. Hopefully, I didn’t go way off track here.

  2. Glenn

    Thanks for your reflections. My faith became more real to me the day I discovered that I only had to be the person God created me to be! We don’t have to be everything, we only need to be the person God has called us to be.

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