When I was in confirmation, all the students would sit together in the back row of the sanctuary during worship. As the acolyte walked out of the sanctuary, we would hold up score cards grading their performance. It was no joke. We actually discussed the performance before presenting our score cards. Did they light all the candles on the first attempt? Any problems handling the offering plates? The scores were legit.
There are times I yearn for this kind of scoring system as a pastor. One of the most difficult aspects of ministry is not knowing where you stand with people. If we developed a point system it might help. A person could track the average sermon time. We could develop an Emotional Impact Index to grade sermon effectiveness. Since these statistics would have numerical values, a pastor could chart their ministry outcomes.
Why stop with the pastor? Wouldn’t it be nice if an index was developed for all people of faith. Maybe we could create a Fitbit like faith watch. Each moment of your day you could get a read out on how you were doing. All guess work would be gone and you would have a moment by moment indication of faithfulness.
Minus the technology and scoring system, this is exactly what is taking place in Galatia. The people have abandoned trust in the spirit for their own works. The problem with trusting our own works is we get into slumps. Slumps we often find difficult, if not, impossible, to escape. Plus, where is the joy in being graded every moment of your life?
A friend recently told me, she was intentionally abandoning controlling her daily performance. Each day she would begin in prayer, “Lord, what would you have me do today?” She was beginning to discover the joy in removing the burden of performance and trusting the spirit. I invite you into her prayer. Pray, “Lord, what would you have me do today?” Then listen to the Spirit of God. (Gal 3: 1-5)