What is success? Particularly, how do you measure success in church? These are but two questions I’ve been contemplating lately as we finish our first full series from a book of the Bible together. How do you measure the success of a sermon series? We could look at how much knowledge we’ve accumulated, how much scripture we’ve memorized, and how many weeks we spent in the series. They would give us a glimpse at success. But I think the true measure of the success of a series can be seen in the following assertions:
Have we changed, as a church, to look more like Jesus?
Have we increased in our love for one another?
Though the answers to those may differ in the micro, from my seat I can answer in the affirmative to both of those with a resounding “Yes!”. We have not arrived at the pinnacle of Christian discipleship. Nor will we in this life. I have, however, experienced us as a church over the past 8 months walk through the fire of difficulty and choose to press through. I’ve seen us navigate treacherous waters together and not drop the rope. We continue to fight to figure out how to love one another in a post-Covid church world that looks vastly different than it did 3 years ago.
But perhaps we as a church haven’t changed that much. Perhaps what I’ve experienced of you has more to do with what God has done in me. I feel an increased love, patience, and holy jealousy for your souls that I did not a year ago. Perhaps the measure of a sermon series, in part, is how much it changes your pastor. And if that’s the case, I’m a better man for having you all embody the book of Ephesians towards me.
For that, I’m grateful. And I’m eager to continue to grow with you on this journey.
P.S. - For what it’s worth as long as I’m on this earth I will forever connect our journey of Ephesians with The Beach Boys. And if you’ve had that song stuck in your head, well, you’re welcome!