I recently spent some time assessing the health and success of my ministry through 2019. It was a great time to celebrate the victories, remember the pains, laugh at the memories, and wonder…What if? As I spent this valuable time thinking about the past twelve months, I found myself at times wishing for bigger numbers, more recognition, and even greater opportunity. But, it didn’t take long for the Lord to remind me that ministry health isn’t about those things. Rather, ministry health is determined by far more meaningful measurements.
Here are three of the questions to consider when measuring the health of your ministry.
Does it reflect your community?
Ministry health can, in part, be measured by the degree to which your ministry reflects your community. If you are ministering in a diverse community, your ministry should be diverse. If you are ministering on a college campus, your ministry should reflect that campus. If you are ministering in a community of left-handed field hockey players, your ministry should consist of those people. As you measure the health of your ministry, it’s important to ask if your ministry reflects the community that you are serving.
Does it reflect the Kingdom?
The Kingdom of God is global, joyful, loving, honest, and so much more. When assessing the health of your ministry, it’s important that you consider whether or not your ministry reflects these realities. Do those that participate in your ministry see and experience who God is? Is there a picture of God and His Kingdom on display through the ministry you lead. If this is a reality, there is a good chance there is health in your ministry.
Does it make much of Jesus?
There is always a temptation to make much of yourself or your brand in your ministry. But, a great test of health is whether or not you are making much of Jesus. And, not just talking about Jesus a lot, but raising His beauty and recognition above anything else. Is a well-crafted sermon or a killer worship set or some unforgettable experience what lies at the center of your ministry? Or, is the beauty and power and glory of Jesus at the center? Be sure that you fight to keep Jesus as the highest and greatest takeaway in your ministry, and you will find your ministry in a healthy place.
This is not an exhaustive list of questions, but it is a great place to start. Because, at the heart of these three questions is really a larger question of faithfulness. Are you being faithful to the Lord and the people He’s called you to serve? If so, you’ll find the answer to these questions a means of affirmation. I hope as you consider these things that you’ll be encouraged because of the pattern of your faithfulness.
I fully believe that God wants us to embrace a regular practice of assessment in our ministries in order to refine us and our efforts to be more faithful. These three questions are a great place to start.
Steven Ackley, his wife Emily, and their four kids live out their love for anything sports and Cookout milkshakes in Murfreesboro, TN where Steven serves as the NextGen and College Pastor at LifePoint Church. Steven holds a D.Min. and an MDiv from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can connect with him on Twitter.