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?