How should we measure success? Expectations run high whenever we step into a place of customer service, such as a restaurant or hotel. We expect food or service of the highest quality to be offered efficiently in a setting that is nice, comfortable, and as secure as possible. One might argue that we pay good money for this kind of quality, so why shouldn’t we as consumers expect the very best. I am right there with you as a fellow consumer, and I can be as picky with the best of them whenever I step into my favorite restaurant (not Krystal) or a fancy hotel (hardly ever).
The question in this article is not pointed at our consumer mentality in general, but whether we are carrying that same mentality into the church. What do you expect whenever you walk into your Sunday School Class or our Worship Center? I can speak for all of our leadership when I say that we want to lead and serve with excellence. God certainly deserves our very best and we do what we do most of all for Him.
But what if our best falls short of the normal consumer expectation? It would have fallen way short in the church at Smyrna. Jesus described this church as follows, “I know your afflictions and your poverty - yet you are rich” (Rev. 2:9)! There is every indication that this church was doing the best it could. Jesus Himself commended them for abounding with richness. And yet, the people were suffering with persecution and poverty. They would not have had the kind of amenities that we have. Shouldn’t that cause us to question what it means to be a successful church? Is our success really about comfort or financial prosperity, or could it be about something even greater? How would you measure success? -Jason