Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Do You Have Joy?

Well, I posted a question about evaluation on an e-mail forum for missional church leaders... asking if anyone was doing evals, if so what are they like etc. and guess what - no one even responded! What's up with that?! Meanwhile they're having a conversation about how clergy can't define "success" or even ask the question. Hellooo! I tell you, it's a good thing I'm nobody of any importance or I'd really be irritated for being ignored like that. ;) Anyway, I reposted my original question so we'll see if that helps.

For now, let me see what I can do. For a framework, I'm going to use Rick Warren's Five Purposes (Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry, Evangelism). To be fair, I sould point out right away that Rick actually does have an evaluation tool based on the Purposes. What I'd like to develop is something a bit simpler and not linked to some of his other specialized terms. You can read my take on the Purposes presented in a Tree metaphor here.

So, if we start at the "roots" of the tree, that would be our realtionship with God, and for me, the best thing to look for there is joy. Jesus said he wanted us to have complete joy (John 15:11). So here are some questions around that.

How often are you experiencing joy in your life that comes simply from knowing and being known by the God who loves you?

How well does your joy hold up when you endure bad circumstances?

Can other people tell you have this Joy?

What is your overall sigh-to-smile ratio? (The percentage of time you spend sighing vs. smiling.)

I believe that growing in faith will result in more joy and more visible joy. I think Churches should let people know that's part of what they should expect. Churches should help people discover and experience that joy, and should evaluate for progress to be sure they are getting the job done.

And if people don't have any joy, then I don't think we should press them on anything else until we've helped them grow into that.

So - how goes it with you? Do you have joy?


1 comment:

Ryan said...

I do have Joy. God gives good gifts. You're one of those gifts, Tim. Thank you for continuing to share your passion for Christ on this blog.

I'm teaching at a Wednesday Night service at Atonement on Feb 11. I going to talk about Joy. I thought reading your blog could help stir my heart to preach. It's working! Thanks!