Guests: Alex Bryan and Paddy McCoy
Most would agree that, at some point, every organization should undergo some sort of evaluation. What is working? What isn’t? What should change? What should stay the same? These can be frightening questions, certainly. More frightening, however, is the church that never dares to ask such questions.
- What are the challenges inherent in evaluating a spiritual endeavor such as evangelism? Should one even attempt to evaluate witnessing and evangelism? Why or why not? Can you support your answer biblically?
- In the book of Acts, there are 32 “growth phrases” where the growing number of believers is mentioned (see Acts 2:41, 47; 4:4, 5:14 for example).
- What are the most common ways of determining evangelistic success?
- Are you comfortable with using these measures of success?
- Does the success of a given evangelistic strategy mean that it is a good strategy–and does numerical growth mean a church is successful? In other words, is the largest (or fastest “growing”) church the best church? If not, then why is there such an effort to become more numerous?
- What are the best ways of evaluating the success of witnessing endeavors?
- Imagine being given power to multiply food, walk on water, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, and know the thoughts of people’s hearts. In addition, imagine that you could win debates with the most noted scholars of your day. At the end of your ministry, how many people would you expect would be part of your religious movement?
- According to Acts 1:15, Jesus ascended to his Father leaving a group of 120 believers. If you were evaluating Jesus and his ministry here on earth, what grade would you give him? On what basis would you give him this grade?
- If you knew that Jesus would be a great preacher exorcist and healer how many followers would you have predicted he would have at the end of his ministry?
- If you had all of Jesus’ abilities, do you think you could have built a church with more than 120 members?
- 1 Cor.11:28 and 2 Cor. 13:5 both speak of examining ourselves.
- How can we do this safely and avoid both spiritual pride and discouragement?
- As a pastor, I listened to a church member share their great sadness that they had never had great evangelistic success. They had not “won a soul” to Christ and felt that they had essentially failed as a Christian. As a pastor, what should I have said to them?
- In 1 Samuel 16:7, the Lord tells Samuel that humans evaluate one another using a standard that God doesn’t use. If this is the case, what good is our evaluation?
- At his baptism (Luke 3:21-22), Jesus heard an evaluation statement from his Father. Jesus had yet to preach a sermon or perform a healing. On what basis, then, could God the Father say he was “well pleased” with Jesus? What does this say about how God evaluates us?