Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Elusive Target

I don't like to admit when I'm wrong. Nobody does. When it comes to several ministry areas, I have goals in my mind of what our target is and what it means when we hit it. Unfortunately, I don't like to admit that we haven't hit a target.

What do you do when you realize you haven't hit your target? This past year, the concert leadership team and I have finally agreed that we have not been hitting our target with the concert series - a ministry designed to be an outreach by nature. Sure, we can pack the house with 1,000+ people - but that does not define success. Success, means that we have a high percentage of those who are unchurched or are unbelievers. Frankly, I'd be more happy with 500 people at an event with 20% (125 people) being unchurched - than 1,000 people with only 5% (50 people) unchurched. Am I concerned about numbers here? Yes! Because people matter to God.

I have a choice in how I can respond when I miss. I can become defensive. I can blame others. I can blame the environment or climate I'm in. I can become depressed and immobilized. I can wallow in pity for myself. These are all negaive responses. But what about the positive responses? I could make changes. I could try again. I could be honest. I could learn.

How will I choose to respond?

Thomas Edison found success in his failure. He filled more than 40,000 pages with notes before he finally had a bulb that withstood a 40 hour test in his laboratory. In 1879, after testing more that 1600 materials for the right filament, including coconut fiber, fishing line, and even hairs from a friend's beard, Edison and his workers finally figured out what to use for the filament -- carbonized bamboo. While working on this project, Edison is quoted to say, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

God, help me to respond to failure like Christ. Even though Christ didn't fail in anything He did, my attitude, verbal response, and actions can all reflect your Son who was perfect. Help me be open to change to be more effective for service in Your Kingdom.

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