Measuring Success

Stellman:  “When one arrives at a robust appreciation of the differences between the civil and spiritual kingdoms, his understanding of a church’s “success” will be, err, transformed. Conversely, when our expectations for our churches mirror those of common cultural institutions, we give ourselves a very clear measuring rod for determining how miserably we fail.

“I mean, what other conclusion are we to reach when our stated aim is to change the world, and the world just isn’t changing?

“It seems to me that it is precisely here that the cross should play a central role in shaping our definition of success. If the New Testament pattern of “the sufferings of Christ and the glory to follow” is at all germane to the discussion, then we surely must conclude that such concepts as power and weakness, boasting and shame, wealth and poverty, and success and failure should be utterly subverted and turned on their heads by what happened on that cursed hill outside Jerusalem all those years ago.

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