Thursday, April 30, 2009

Success is...

Success is often measured for us, isn’t it? If you get a certain GPA, you have had a successful semester. If you improve your time in a race, or improve your golf score, you can easily look at it as success. If you attain a certain position in a company, many will view you as successful.

But, a question might be, “What does a successful church look like?” Of course, we could look at some outward indicators like the number of attenders, size of the building, or even the amount that the church collects. And surely, those things have their place, but at the end of the day, I am not sure that God is overwhelmingly impressed with any of them.

But, I do think when God looks at Ogletown, He is pleased to see…
  • A child growing in their understanding of the God who loves them more than they could imagine
  • A small group or a Sunday School class experiencing a level of authenticity or transparency that they have not had before
  • A person using their gifts to serve the body of Jesus Christ, sometimes when no one is looking
  • A couple who decide to follow biblical commands of hospitality, and open their homes to neighbors as well as to brothers and sisters in Christ
  • A teenager who ends up choosing to do what is right, despite the ridicule or embarrassment for not going with the flow
  • Parents who have chosen to do the hard work of shaping their child’s heart, and who do so even when it isn’t convenient
  • People who gather early on Sunday morning to pray (and those who pray throughout the week for our body as well)
  • A college student boldly and lovingly sharing their faith
  • A family who begins to develop a heart that makes them love their neighbor in tangible ways
  • A person who sees their business as more than something to enhance their earthly security, but rather sees it as a platform to share God’s grace
  • A student who takes an extended period of time in their lives (with a measure of personal sacrifice) to invest it in the lives of others

These things are happening at Ogletown, and I believe God is pleased. It seems to me that success can manifest itself in 100 different ways, and sometimes it is hard to measure. But, I take great comfort in knowing God sees all, and is working out His perfect will in our lives. Are we perfect? Far from it! Are we successful? I think we are, at times, but there is always room to grow. Are we dependent on Him for everything we need for life and godliness? You can rest assured we are.