Airlines proudly announce their record for on-time arrivals. It is meant to be a selling point because they will get you to your destination on time. That is obviously a good thing to measure, but is it the most important thing? If an airline had one crash a week it would not matter how many times they arrived on time. Deciding “what” to measure is critical to any enterprise.
That begs the question… how do we measure success in evangelism. Perhaps our first tendency would be to count the number of people who actually follow Jesus in a profession of faith. We want to see conversions. There is excitement about new believers. There is rejoicing in heaven over those who are repentant. But… is that what we should be measuring?
Few would argue that the evangelist could control the decision of another person to become a Christian. Salvation comes as a result of the Word of God and the Spirit of God. We don’t have control over other people’s response to the gospel therefore we cannot be held accountable for something we can’t control. While we may count those who come to Christ, that cannot be the main thing we track.
What then can we control? The answer is that we have control over how much we evangelize. While we can’t control the outcome we can control the input. We can’t force people to become Christians but we can decide if we will give the gospel. Perhaps the major thing we should measure is obedience to the Great Commission.
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