Friday, May 1, 2009

Numbers and the Performance Trap

This blogspot is still in its infancy stage but already I find myself expecting more. More time to post more frequently. More comments. More feedback. Are we just writing to ourselves or is anybody out there really visiting and reading what we post? One of our co-authors asked me this week if I had thought about adding a counter so we can see if we are getting 'hits'. It was a question that I had already been asking myself for the past couple of weeks.

Then on one of my favorite blogs the author talked about numbers. How she had a counter on her blogspot but when it filled up, all of a sudden she found herself back to square one - not knowing if anyone was visiting the blog. How she had to revisit why she posts blogs in the first place.

It got me to thinking. (Funny how God kicks that thinking part of my brain in gear!) Thinking about why we are driven to collect statistics. Granted, statistics aren't all bad. Much to the contrary, collecting and analyzing data is very important in many areas. It can make a difference between success and failure. What business person would start up a new business or begin an expansion of their business without research and market analysis? Doing so could mean failure of their venture within a short period of time. On the other hand, we Americans have become so performance driven that we base our perception of success or failure on numbers or the lack of.

That measure of success is the worldly definition. It is not God's. We look at a visible yardstick. God looks at the invisible spiritual markers. There are numerous examples in the Bible of instances where the world would scream "failure" but God said "success"! What about Joseph? Definitely his brothers thought failure when they sold him into slavery. Years (and several other worldly defined 'failures') later, Joseph was able to tell them God intended it for good and to enable their very lives to be spared during a ravaging famine. Sarah? Way past child bearing age, she had been labeled barren, failing to provide children to her husband. Then God's promise was fullfilled in Isaac. Elizabeth? Another barren woman - another 'failure'. Then God defined success and gave her John. The list could go on and on.

So I am back to the question about adding a counter to our site. And I've decided that yes, we need to do that. We need to be able to evaluate every aspect of our ministry to ensure we are reaching women and making a difference in their lives. The counter will let us see whether or not people are visiting this blog. As far as comments and feedback...................well, I am leaving that part of the measuring in God's hands!


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