I Blame The RunKeeper

Running is good for your right?

We all know that it burns calories and helps you stay in shape. Some people even enjoy it and it relieves stress and helps them to unwind.

I used to run a 3.6 mile loop here in Longview around Lake Sacajawea in around 30-35 minutes. I was happy with that, it seemed like a decent pace and I felt like it was good exercise.

Then I got a smartphone and downloaded the RunKepper app. It is an amazing little app that lets me track my runs (cleverly named to boot). It will tell me how far I ran, the time and my average pace along with other data.

Fantastic right?

It’s great, but now instead of running in around 30 minutes I’ve gotten my time down to 28 minutes, averaging 7:45 per mile around the 3.6 miles.

Once I started measuring how long it took me I started pushing myself to do better. Now if I have my phone with me I can’t just take a jog and call it good knowing that I burned a few calories and kept a decent pace around the lake.

When we measure something we can know whether or not it is improving. Whether we are doing better than we did last time. Maybe finding out that we’ve slowed down a little.

The same can be true in ministry.

It is easy to go through what we do week in and week out and assume that we are doing something good because it’s what we’ve always done.

And I’m sure most ministries are doing good things. But how much better could we be doing if we measured what we were doing and could see areas that we could improve in?

Ministry can be hard to measure. Do we count students in our weekly meeting? Conversions? Baptisms? Membership in a discipleship program or cell group?

I think all of these are good factors, but wouldn’t lean on any one of them alone.

What tools do you use to measure your ministry?

What do you think?

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