By Sean McDonald
How do you measure the success of a ministry? There is an initial compulsion to equate size, number, and attendance with achievement. Bigger is better right? At least that is what we are told. However, most of us know that this isn’t an adequate way to determine if we are actually accomplishing anything or not. Maybe you have experienced a situation where something was extremely popular or well attended and yet that same thing faded out into nothingness. There is a recurring theme where popular things are not looked at as successful as time goes on. A few examples of this would be MySpace or planking. Both of these things would now be considered fads rather than movements due to their lack of longevity. In order to avoid being a fad and truly being a movement or a revolution is the consistent effort of those involved to continue to improve that movement again and again. It has to be a never ending pursuit of something greater than what already exists. This requires participation, marketing, and even reinvention in the name of progress. I bring all of this up because I believe that this is exactly what this senior class has done. Obviously, my relationships and experience with you all is very limited in reference to time. However, it did not take long to realize your dedication to Wesley and its ministry. Each and every year there is an incoming class of freshman who are away from home and looking for a place to belong. While the staff at Wesley can reach out and do everything possible to create that feeling and environment, none of that compares to the welcoming hand of a classmate. It is evident that this is exactly what has taken place with this senior class. This is made clear in our growing number of freshmen through juniors who are taking a more active role in the ministry. When I say growth I do not mean in size I mean in quality of the participation. While we are indeed growing in numbers which we love, we are seeing more and more young people have a passion for the Lord with desire to help spark that for their peers. Trust me when I say that this is extremely unique. None of that would be possible without the example set by this senior class. This year’s freshman class and those to come only know Wesley, both in regard to events and the house itself for what it is now. But as I understand it, this was not the case when your class came in. But your recognition of God moving through the ministry without the need for wonderful aesthetics allowed for the beauty that you see today. That my friends, is the mark of creating a movement. Your buy in has left the Wesley House better than when you started. As a staff that is all we can ask for. Your investment in those below you in age has set the stage for them to do the very same for years to come. This is the reason that Wesley will be and is successful. For the lower classmen reading this, follow the example. Take those coming in by the hand so that we can continue to see this growth, maybe in quantity but definitely in quality. It is our goal to create deeply devoted followers of Christ and that is how it is done. So how do you measure the success of a ministry? By those who are absolutely bought in and make the ministry better than it was when they got here. Senior class you have done that and we all thank you for it.