Last night’s lecture and discussion forum on the life and legacy of William Wilberforce was really great. The speaker was Regis Nicoll, from Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship. He’s a frequent contributor to the Prison Fellowship website BreakPoint (he actually wrote a recent article about the upcoming election in which he mentioned Wilberforce, which I hope you’ll check out), and has his own blog.
The quote of the night, though, was not about Wilberforce. During the Q&A session following his talk, discussion turned to what would be necessary for American Christians to have the same impact today as Wilberforce and his Clapham Sect had on England two centuries ago. In saying that the American church needs to adopt a similar approach to Wilberforce’s by encourage professing believers to read the Bible and conform their lives to it, Nicoll, an engineer by trade, applied a common engineering phrase to the situation:
“What gets measured gets done.”
What he meant is that, if churches are going to change lives, they need to be focusing on discipleship. In order to do that, we need to make sure that we have a way to measure our current discipleship efforts, and make it a priority. Churches are great, he said, at measuring things like attendance, giving, and baptisms. Is it any surprise that we see plenty of growth and stability in those areas, yet most of those sitting in our pews remain undiscipled and ineffective witnesses?
Something to think about…