Numb to Numbers

Does measuring success in youth ministry = playing the numbers game? I’m a firm believer that the fruit of ministry does NOT boil down neatly into how many warm bodies are in a room at one time. Numbers are important, though, because numbers – in this context – are people. Hopefully, lives that are being influenced.

Measuring this kind of influence isn’t easy. How do we know when w’re growing? When we’re succeeding?

I suppose it comes down to… (I’d better stop and think here. I’m supposed to be a paid “professional”. I should know the answer to this.)

• Jesus.

Jesus showing Himself larger in a student’s life than the influences of the culture.

A student becoming the hands and feet of Jesus through outreach, serving, and loving people that everyone else rejects.

A student that desires daily communion with Jesus.

Jesus living through a student that stirs up some old, religious thinking.

A group of students that have Jesus’ heart for others more than they are interested in getting self-gratification out of a weekly service experience.

A group of students who value worshipping Jesus, not just by singing songs, but with their lives.

Student’s who have given their lives over to Jesus on Mondays and Tuesdays, not just Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights.

Students who don’t just pay lip service to the words of Jesus, but act on them.

Lives that have been transformed and set free by the incredible, extraordinary love of Jesus.

Numbers are good. They help us to measure things. But numbers aren’t everything. I’d much rather have Jesus.