How Do YOU Define A Win?

Two weeks ago, while at Catalyst, Andy Stanley rocked my world.

Talking about how we define our “wins” in the ministry world, he shared that for North Point a win on Sunday morning is when an unchurched person shows up, is helped, and comes back next week with a friend. He went on to share that there are people who have an issue with that definition because it doesn’t include anything about people accepting Jesus, to which he responds a win has to be something we can control… and we can’t control whether someone accepts Christ or not.

In the evangelical world we are taught early on that successful ministries lead people to Christ. We are often evaluated on the number of conversions and baptisms that have occurred in our churches, which causes us to evaluate ourselves on those same metrics. While I have nothing against conversions and baptisms (seriously, I’m a fan!), I do wonder if Andy isn’t on to something when he sets his win as something that his team can control.

As we were preparing to plant the church in Baltimore, I spent some time selling cars. As a salesman, I was completely unable to make someone buy a car. I was however able to engage in several practices that would help me as I worked to influence someone’s car buying decision. I wonder if we shouldn’t approach our ministries in much the same way.

Defining a win for a Sunday morning service as the creation of an environment where the spiritually unresolved are comfortable wrestling through faith issues, seems to be far more achievable on a regular basis than have three people respond to an altar call. It also seems that by creating those environments we will ultimately be enabling people to be open to the move of the Holy Spirit in their lives… rather than feeling as though we must force a response.

I am not done wrestling through this idea, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it… let me know what you think in the comments?

How do YOU define a win?


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.