Defining Success pt. 2
Again, returning to consider verse 23, "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of man":
Peter spoke (in verse 22) from his contemporary understanding of kings and kingdoms. Certainly kings don't go this route - crucifixion, death, and burial - in establishing their reign! No, first there is recognition. Then there are growing numbers of loyal followers. Then there is some form of a coronation. Then there is conquest and victories! This is what kings and kingdoms look like.
We can get into similar danger when we look to define church success in terms of contemporary understanding. Having busy church calendars, swelling numbers and community recognition is all fine, but if that becomes the measuring standard we are amiss. Loving God with all our hearts, souls and minds; loving others as ourselves; communicating the gospel 'to all creatures'; lives offered up as living sacrifices - let's look to those as measuring standards. How are we doing?