There is always a tension between the natural unfettered growth within ministry and demonstrating progress and success for accountability purposes as you strive for excellence. The typical measurements of “success” have been centered around numbers – how many conversions, how many baptisms, how many churches planted, etc. Though those are all very good aspects of growth, they do not give a complete picture.
It would be difficult to truly encapsulate all the spiritual “wins” in ministry as many of them are unseen or immeasurable by human means. Some of the victories will only be discovered when we rejoice in heaven together.
There are some ways that we can expand our thoughts in tracking progress.
Consider tracking from 2 sides – those you are training and those you are reaching.
Those you are training (which is really discipling people to be missionaries):
How many people have a new awakening to live their life on mission?
How many people are intentionally engaging the lostness around them?
How many people are now advocates who promote and train others to engage?
How many people are now architects who lead and cast vision for missional engagement ?
How many churches or small groups have embraced a strategy to impact lostness?
Those you are reaching:
How many conversions, baptisms, bible studies, etc.? (The standard measurements)
How many lost people are you engaging in deep relationships?
How many people are attending an ESL, Bible Study, or other outreach platform?
How many spiritual conversations are you having?
How many persons of peace have you developed relationships with?
In order to have a more healthy view of tracking growth, we should track the steps along the way. This is more parallel to ongoing discipleship. How are people progressing? How are they learning to make disciples of disciples? The depth and entirety of the process is more accurately perceived when each “win” in ministry includes measuring each step along the walk.
You will replicate what you celebrate.
Lift up those who are training and discipling others to “go.” Cherish the spiritual conversations. Encourage the leaders to create leaders. Disciples to create disciples. Sometimes lower numbers here would mean a more effective and beneficial “win.” It cannot always be about breadth and width of influence; depth must be core to discipleship.