People measure success in many different ways. In fact, if you do youth ministry, you know all of the different people that have buy-in to it. You, the students, your volunteers, the parents of the students, your senior pastor, the deacons, the congregation, other youth ministries you work with, and more. Each of those people may have a different way of measuring success. And while many think that numbers are evil, you need to be able to actually be able to measure if you are succeeding. Attendance numbers are easily measurable, but that does not quantify real discipleship.
I do want to be clear about one thing. Measuring success is not comparing your ministry to others. They have their ministry that serves that part of the community. If we start to compare ourselves, we begin measuring their goals to our ministry and that always makes someone look bad. Separate your ministry from them and recognize God’s blessing on your specific ministry.
- God’s View Of Greatness.
God’s view of greatness is not what the world would call success. Look at Matthew 5 and see how He wants you to success in life and ministry.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
- Ensure Everyone Is On The Same Page.
Find out who has important buy-in to your ministry and include them in on the process of measuring success. Maybe the senior pastor helps you decide what the goals of ministry should be this year. The volunteers are shared with the goals and how they will be incorporated into the plan to success. And the parents hear a monthly or quarterly update on how those goals are being fulfilled. The most important part of this is communication.
- Constantly Evaluate How It Is Going.
This means that we have quantifiable goals that I can achieve, meet ten new friends of students currently attending or have volunteers run 25% more of youth group. We do not have control of who gets saved or even comes to events and so those would be bad goals. Our goals are year-long at USAFA Club Beyond and every quarter we look at the progress. If things are way off, we are just killing it or not doing as well as possible, we look at why. Maybe our goals were unrealistic or we didn’t (and couldn’t) see tough barriers. So we readjust those goals into new twelve month goals. Because we are constantly tweaking and reevaluating the goals, we never actually reach them, but are always growing and improving.
So what would you count as success? What are your goals?