As we gear up for Hope’s Annual meeting on June 14, the most important question we can ask ourselves is: How is Hope doing? I know we have to decide on a budget that hovers around $700,00, affirm as many as 3 new Elders, 4-6 Deacons and several other Key Leader roles, but I still think the most important thing we do in those meetings is sit before God and considering whether we are being effective for the Kingdom. We arrange for all the ministry reports to empower us in doing so.
But what is the measuring stick for “doing well” as a Church? What pulse, blood pressure or temperature tell us we are healthy? What spiritual blood test do we take? Arte we making budget? Did we start enough new Life Groups or send more people on mission trip? Or do we ask if we gave enough money to Missions or baptize more people than last year?
I am not sure there is a perfect way, but for the last few years Hope has been looking at it this way. Our Mission statement is:
Our mission is to be agents of God’s grace to reach people with the hope of Christ and connect them to a growing community of faith to serve our world in love.
So since that is what we have discerned it means for us to be faithful to God, to be “doing” well, then we have to be honest enough to ask ourselves these kinds of questions:
- How many people without a connection to Christ or His Church are we reaching?
- How effective are we at connecting new people into relationship networks at Hope? Do we have enough Barnabas’s who brought the isolated Paul to the Church leaders (Acts 9:27)?
- Are we witnessing real spiritual transformation occurring as a result of people growing in Christ?
- Does our service reflect the kind of abandonment reflected in the Good Samaritan?
I realize that many of you will probably respond with “I have no clue!” That’s fair enough. So a couple of things. First, come to the Annual Meeting. It will begin to help you have a clue. Second, simply ask yourself: “If everyone reached, connected, grew and served as I do, would Hope be healthy?” I know it is a bit of a cliché, but it could provide you with all the insight you need.
But let me swing it around to the positive side. Be thankful that we have the privilege of being the Light of the World and the Salt of the Earth! Nothing really matters more.