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What’s a win for us?

June 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

“I press on toward the goal the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

As a young soccer fan, I used to get very frustrated and terribly agitated when my favourite national team then, Brazil, would dribble and dance with the ball in their characteristic Samba style of play, sometimes dominating as much as 80% possession and yet not score any goals! “Come on guys!” I would scream in my heart, “No one wins a soccer game by even 100% possession!” The only way to win is to put the ball in the net—score goals. And as many as possible, for that matter.

In life and ministry, it is easy to be caught up in a bunch of good activities one after the other, and be busy, very busy, but how can we tell if that busyness really counts? Unless we have a clear God-given purpose and keep that end in mind, it just might be, in the words of Shakespeare, ‘much ado about nothing.

I was fortunate to learn early in my marketplace career to “schedule my priorities” rather than “prioritise my schedule” for even if one gets to check off all items on a ‘To Do’ list that isn’t tantamount to ‘success.’ Like riding hard on a rocking horse yet going nowhere, activity doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity. What determines if it is a win?

Boy has there been frolic activity in ISMC over the past three years since I’ve had the privilege of leading this strategic mission. Yes, we praise God for the average 70% growth of ISMC in pioneer ministries and new staff over those 36 months and a whole lot of other major ministry milestones chalked, but really “so what?”

As a mission, our senior leadership team together with the Board recently went through a very engaging exercise asking ourselves, “What’s a win for us?” We concluded that at the end of each day, week, month or year, ISMC would have won when:

  • International students/scholars have been given opportunities to become disciples of Jesus Christ;
  • These students/scholars are growing in their discipleship and leadership journey;
  • We have good community and harmony among staff and volunteers while we facilitate these above opportunities, and;
  • We are able to do all of this in a financially sustainable manner (we can ‘afford’ this enterprise).

It is a joy to share how under God we’re mostly winning valiantly; and even when we don’t win, we evaluate, learn and “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus.


Dr. Yaw Perbi