This is very, very important. Oh…it’s tempting to shoot the arrows first and then draw in the target, just like in this well-known Brother Juniper cartoon. We’ve all done a version of that. Like when you distribute large numbers of host packets, less than half ever have their first meeting, and you celebrate the 45% that actually start. Or maybe, every group has an apprentice but even though there’s rarely a birth, you celebrate the occasional new group. Or how about this one: you’re focusing on making disciples…but the work usually stops at the first generation. Disciples rarely become disciple makers. You celebrate when they do.
Trust me, the idea is to decide in advance what you will call success.
Why must you determine what you’ll call success before you begin? When you choose in advance you:
- Plan your strategy with the end in mind
- Have a built in milestone or finish line
- Are brutally honest about outcomes
A Few Examples
- Our apprenticing practice is a success when 50% of our existing groups birth every 12 months.
- Our host recruitment strategy is a success when 3 out of 4 host groups report having a great experience.
- Our disciple-making strategy is a success when over 50% of the men and women in our program have identified and begun meeting with their own candidate by the time they are within 60 days of the finish line.
For more on the practice of clarifying the win for your ministry, see The 7 Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner.
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