Someone asked me recently, “Pastor, what is a successful church?” By church, I suppose he meant congregation. Great question! Let’s take out our metrics and tools and get to work.
But, before we do, consider this: At its absolute zenith, in its simplest form, Christianity is the story of a God who died one day in order to redeem his people. On that day, participants were distraught, hiding or whipped into a frenzy. Doesn’t seem very successful to me. Don’t you think God deserves an ‘F?’ I say we all give God a big fat ‘F!’
Time to measure Trinity Lutheran Church, Manhattan Beach, or any congregation, for that matter. For starters, we still preach Christ crucified. We still believe that Jesus rose from the dead and will come again. We still believe that until he comes again, we are Christ’s body, continuing the work that he started (cf. Lk 4:18-19). Any current hiding, angst, and frenzy, therefore, is predictable because that’s what people do when God is up to big things.
One of the songs Trinity’s 11 o’clock worship band plays is entitled “There’s Something Happening Here,” a reference to Jesus being present in our lives, delivering his kingdom. Big, Gospel things are happening here at Trinity, Manhattan Beach.
By the way, ‘F’ is for FOLLOW.