IX Marks Ministries graded itself on how well it met its stated goals for 2007 and set a standard for the '08 year that it hopes to accomplish. This is a very humbling method of being honest and open about your weaknesses and successes.
In addition to that, different models of "church" are put forth and scrutinized by scriptural principles in a very revealing way and Mark Dever starts off the newsletter with this statement:
I want you to try a thought excercise. Suppose a business school class on non-profit organizations assigns its students the task of building a successful church. And assume all the students are non-Christians. Could they succeed?
Sure they could! With the right poll-tested mothods, just about anyone can draw a crowd. If ambience sells coffee, why not use it to sell Jesus? If music sells clothing, why not use it to market the church? The church might even win a "Most Innovative!" award.
Yet think about this: what does it say about God if we need to market his glory and gospel with the same tools we use to sell toothpaste and laundry detergent? Is he really that desperate?
God is so much more glorious. He has declared a mighty gospel and then backed up his words by changing a group of people. There's the church's appeal: The wisdom of God. The might of God. The love of God. On display in the lives of a changed people for all the world to see!
Is your church relying on natural appeal or supernatural? Whose glory does it display?
These are challenging words that need to honestly be thought through by anyone in a position of authority over a church body as one day, you must give an account for how you handled the bride of Christ.
You can read more here.
-How would the church God has placed you over measure up?
-If you are not in a position of leadership, how would you say your church stacks up?
-Do you think it wise to throw your cards on the table when it comes to how well you are meeting certain goals within your local body? Is this a good form of accountability? If yes, why? If no, why not?
-Do you think Piper is correct (in the article) that missions exist because worship doesn't?