Every time we come together in the Lord’s name, it’s an important moment. But I wanted to make sure each of you knew what was going on this coming Sunday. First of all, we will be hosting Tiffany Chenier, principal of McNamara Elementary. She is eager to thank us for our help on their campus, and show her excitement about the partnership between us which is just beginning. She’ll probably bring other teachers, students and guests, so be prepared to welcome some new faces this Sunday!
Second, I plan to preach this Sunday on the state of our church. There are so many good things going on at Westbury, and I want to celebrate those. I also want to talk about the direction we hope to go in the near future. Obviously, there’s a lot we as a church staff don’t know and can’t predict, but we want you to know our hopes, dreams and plans so that you can help us pray and work toward those exciting things.
Third, we want to hear from you about the effectiveness of our church’s ministry. In most churches, the measurement of success comes in three categories: Attendance, offerings, and baptisms. Those are indeed important statistics, but they don’t tell the whole story. A church can attract lots of people and bring in plenty of money without really making a difference for Christ. Even baptisms are not a sure-fire indicator. Our job is not just to bring people into the Kingdom; we are commanded to make disciples. So how can we measure whether or not we are helping people grow into the kind of people God wants them to be?
I had an idea a while back for a way to measure this. We could take a survey of our members once a year. Every year, this would give us a snapshot of where our ministry was effective at producing growth, and where it was not. This would help us to set goals, start new programs, and tweak older programs that aren’t getting the job done. It would also give us a way to measure improvement in our church. If we score higher in a certain category next year than we do this year, we’ll know we’re on the right track.
So this Sunday, at the close of my sermon, we’ll ask you to take a short survey that will be inserted into your bulletin. Our guests will not be asked to fill out the survey, as it is only for our members. I’ll have some special instructions for them. The survey has been written to reflect our purposes, and will cover three categories:
1. Worship: Do we help our members connect to God? (Loving God)
2. Community: Are our members connected to each other? (Loving others)
3. Outreach: Do our members reach the lost and hurting? (Loving those outside the church)
Please pray about this. We want this to be a tool that will help us enhance our ministry and make our church more effective in God’s work. I am excited about this Sunday, and I hope to see you there!