How would you NOT measure success in a worship ministry

Greetings WTR peps!

I'm working on a blog post on measuring success in worship ministry and I could use your help...

What ways would you NOT measure success in worship ministry?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

Update: 1-16-12

I just re-posted a blog article that I wrote a little more then a year ago. The article considers the subject of qualifying success in worship by examining some advice from Bob Kauflin, head of Sovereign Grace Music.

You can view the article in the WTR members blog... Click Here

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Greg Excellent answer!  You really hit the nail on the head!  I loved your McDonalds illustration.  Well done!

Just for clarification the idea behind the question is to expose faulty thinking about how we sometimes measure success...  For example...  We may think we have a successful worship ministry because all of our arrangements "sound just like the CD".  But is it really successful if the congregations doesn't sing?

There’s no easy answers.  Just because someone sings along does not mean they are worshipping.  Just because someone does not sing does not mean they are not worshipping.  I realize it is human nature to want to measure and assess and even judge progress, success, effectiveness etc. but I think in a sense we are missing the mark.  We just flat out don’t know.  God holds the yardstick.  I think looking for things to measure gives us a sense of purpose in a way because if we meet a goal then we are satisfied.  We have completed what we set out to do.  But where does that leave God in the equation?  Where does that leave grace?  Where does that leave love?  Where does that leave hope?  Where does that leave faith? 

I think we do ourselves a great disservice when we use measurements rooted in “the world”. 

Not by my standards

Not by your standards


How to measure the success of a worship event,  we can't,  God can!

If we measure it and declare it sucessful then we may have our heart's in the wrong place. Read Amos.;

Given that, what are we to do? How can someone be disqualified?

In my above statement, I wanted to say is that if we produce a tick list and say this worship event gets 7/10 or a C classification are we missing the point. It's about God.

I was a bit blunt,  sorry


What we are to do is worship God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the way we live (including singing songs to and about him)

It's important that God through the Holy Spirit provide us with discernment.

Thinking further I feel the best worship events I've been to are ones were God was at work in people. 


With the exception of a Soul Survivior where there was no praying, as the "congregation" were hyped up and Delirious carried on playing a great worship set.   A great big celebration!

Ps I was in the Enabling Team for that event.  



A few thoughts..

  • By posing the question I was not suggesting that we develop an authoritative list by which we can definitely qualify the success of a single event.  I was simply asking, what ways would you NOT measure success in worship ministry?  So in other words, what commonly used criteria would you not use to measure success of your ministry.  For some good examples of what I was looking for you can read Greg Newhouse response above.  He gave me exactly what I was looking for.
  • Albeit well intentioned I think this notion that we can't evaluate the success of our worship ministry or even a single event is a little erroneous and even dangerous. God gives us a mind/heart and Scripture and the Spirit and fellowship so we can exercises godly discernment in all things.  If we are not willing to subject ourselves and our ministries to a process of evaluation then we run the risk doing ministry in a vacuum where are own personal preferences and perceptions become the driving force behind everything we do. 

But it's still not possible to say NOT without knowing at least how you DO.

Very true Stevo.

If you do worship and come home and think something along the lines of 'Ooh, the congregation was very responsive today' or 'Wasn't it nice that Joe bloggs paid me a compliment' then I think that would be very human, but NOT the way to measure the success of worship.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we shouldn't get caught up in allowing our human side define the success of worship but hand the glory over to God and let Him to do the measuring.


And then - is it really about glory or "you guys sounded good today" or "that song really blessed me", or is it about being obedient and holy in all we do? And then, wouldn't it be wrong to not listen to criticism and compliments? Whenever we say "hand it over to God", are we saying that we won't be critical of our work?

Stevo can you clarify your statement?  I'm not quite sure what you mean.

I'll try - saying what is NOT a way to measure success is just a way of eliminating things that don't belong - which implies that we have an idea of what is the right way to measure. And yet, many folks say, "we shouldn't measure it, only God can". When we say that, are we saying that we shouldn't try to measure our success? Aren't we bound to find new and creative ways to fail when we don't remain critical of our ministries? So then I ask, is it about sounding good? Or is it about keeping the congregation engaged? Is it both and more? And then, what are we measuring? Ourselves, or the ministry? 


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