I have a lot of friends on deputation or in college all planning on going to the foreign field. In their considerations they are wanting to make an impact on the world for Christ. There is value to leaving a lasting, measurable impact. But how do you measure it? Would you be happy just showing the Jesus film to a village and then leaving? Would it be enough to hold a week-long evangelistic rally? What did Paul consider the measure of success in a certain area?
Here are a few thoughts by J.D. Crowley on how to measure effectiveness:
There are at least six ways to measure missions:
1. Has anyone proclaimed the gospel in a clear and systematic way from creation to Christ (not just the Jesus Film!), baptized the converts, and taught them “to obey everything [Christ] commanded”?
2. Have the believers joined together into local congregations which will be microcosms and foreshadowings of the future kingdom of God, where love and truth are expressed every day?
3. Are there godly pastors and deacons who model humble leadership according to 1 Timothy 3?
4. Do the churches know how to reproduce new churches in other locations (through evangelism, not church splits!).
5. Do the pastors know how to train new pastors?
6. Do they have the Bible (and other Christian books) in the heart language of the people, since the church can’t be the church without the Word of God?
So as you plan on going to a mission field I want to challenge you to pray about countries and cities around the world that don’t have a majority of these six things going on. That would be a place that needs you as a pioneer missionary.
If you’ve spent a term on the field ask yourself, “How far have we come from the beginning to now in accomplishing these six?” and “How long will it realistically take us to accomplish these six at the rate we’re going?”