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Measure of Our Success, The: An Impassioned Plea to Pastors Paperback – May 1, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Our worth is simply not measured by our church attendance, programs, buildings, and budgets. At least it cannot be, or it will cost us. In fact, it already has.

Pastor Shawn Lovejoy has seen false measures of success do damage in his own life. In his work as speaker, consultant, and coach, he's also seen them lead to pride, self-reliance, loneliness, isolation, exhaustion, and even self-destruction in the lives of other pastors. In this transparent, brutally honest, yet encouraging book, he calls us back to measuring our success as pastors the way God does. Using Scripture, personal examples, and practical insights, Lovejoy leads us back to our first love and, in doing so, toward a more effective and healthy ministry.

With contributions from leading pastors, including

Larry Osborne
Steven Furtick
Mark Batterson
Chris Seay
Greg Surratt
and many more


"Too often we've listened to the false gods of competition and numbers instead of to the Holy Spirit and Scripture. Shawn offers us a needed corrective."--Larry Osborne, author; pastor of North Coast Church, Vista, CA

"An encouraging must-read for any pastor feeling discouraged, worn out, and worried that success will never come."--Greg Surratt, founding pastor of Seacoast Church, Mt. Pleasant, SC

"I wish I had this book when I started The Journey. I highly recommend that everyone who serves in the church read this cover to cover."--Darrin Patrick, author; lead pastor of The Journey, St. Louis, MO

"Shawn has given us a book filled with practical insight. I wish I could have gathered this much wisdom in one book when I set out to start my first church seventeen years ago. I would have avoided so many painful mistakes."--Chris Seay, author of A Place at the Table; pastor of Ecclesia, Houston, TX


Shawn Lovejoy is the founding and lead pastor of Mountain Lake Church and directional leader of Churchplanters.com, a coaching and resource ministry for church planters. Shawn, his wife Tricia, and their three kids live near Atlanta, Georgia.

About the Author

Shawn Lovejoy is the founding and lead pastor of Mountain Lake Church, the directional leader of churchplanters.com, and the author of The Measure of Our Success. God has used Mountain Lake Church and churchplanters.com to become one of the most influential church planting ministries in the world, and Shawn gives Jesus all the credit. Shawn loves his wife, his kids, the church, pastors, college football, and PlayStation3. In that order. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801014603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801014604
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By John M. Alexander VINE VOICE on May 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"The main reason so many of us are struggling stems from our definition of success," writes Shawn Lovejoy.

The moment I read the subject matter of this book I knew it was a book I needed to read. Whether it was the Holy Spirit prompting or just plain luck, I felt as though this book was needed - and I was right.

Lovejoy writes, seemingly about me: "Let's be honest: as ambitious self-starters, we can so easily begin to work for Jesus at the expense of working in and through Jesus."

I needed to read this book to be reminded that:
* Other people feel the same struggles I do
* It's hard to attempt to measure success in ministry
* The sole purpose of why I do what I do is Jesus
* I have permission to rest and take days off
* I must make God my number one, singular, no questions asked priority every, single, day.

"In short, we have forgotten God's most important command for all of his followers, the only measure of true success: love."

I can't recommend this book more. Please, if you are a pastor, a ministry leader, or someone who is actively involved in church leadership, read this book. It's a HUGE success.
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Format: Paperback
In this plea Shawn Lovejoy takes aim at the all to common problem of pastoral burnout and failure. In his own words: "Why are so many pastors and ministry leaders falling? Why are they so vulnerable? Why are they so unfulfilled? Lonely? Insecure? Discouraged? Depressed? Burned out? Why are so many not seeing the fruit they hoped to see? What is wrong with pastors?" The answer? Many pastors are aiming at the wrong thing. Pastors seek to do great things for God instead of being a great man with God. Pastors seek numbers instead of fruit, busy-ness instead of wholeness, approval instead of holiness, and fame instead of faithfulness. Chasing the wrong things kills us.

It is a sad thing that this book needed to be written, but I do believe it did. The real message, condensed in the way I would want to say it to other pastors, is quite simple: You are not Jesus! Along the way to saying this, Lovejoy makes many interesting side-trips; telling us about his resignation from Leadership (Jesus leads!), what to do when you feel like quitting (turn to Jesus), and so on. I felt distinctly blase as I read this book; I'm not sure if that was the book or me. I suspect it is because the same points have been made far better elsewhere (hello Mr. Eugene Peterson...).

Conclusion: 3.5 Stars. Conditionally recommended (kind of sort of not really almost? sorry for that; a reflection of my ambivalence I suppose). If the first paragraph struck you as addressing a super important issue, then great, start out with this book if you want or move straight to people like Eugene Peterson and Henri Nouwen.

Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications and Baker in exchange for an honest review.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Pastors have a problem. The problem is simple, according to Shawn Lovejoy: "Somewhere along our ministry journey, things got tangled up in our hearts and heads. Our root problem is that we have exchanged God's definition of success for our own. We have begun to measure the way the world does."

Pastors, he writes, are driven by our need for affirmation, by numbers, activity, approval, and fame. We compare, copy, and condemn others. As a result, pastors are discouraged and discontent with the way their lives and ministries are turning out.

That's why Lovejoy has written The Measure of Our Success: An Impassioned Plea to Pastors. Lovejoy does three simple things in this book. First, he describes and critiques the standard way that we measure pastors. Second, he redefines success in terms of vitality, love, teamwork, and a focus on God. Finally, he offers a new set of metrics. Lovejoy writes:

We must not seek to please people. We must please God.
We must not seek to fill auditoriums. We must fill heaven.
We must not seek fame. We must make Jesus famous.
We must not seek our agenda. We must proclaim his agenda.
We must not quit if we are called. We will quit if we are not.

The minute I heard of this book, I knew I would buy it. It's been a long time since I devoured a book as quickly as I did this one. My copy is dog-eared and marked, and there are dozens of quotes begging to be tweeted. I found myself nodding in agreement many times as I read the book.

The most telling word in the subtitle is "impassioned." The thing that made this book so compelling is that it is written with so much passion. Lovejoy is a pastor, and he knows what it's like to measure ministry by the wrong standards.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It doesn't matter what the subject is, people are looking for the silver bullet. Everyone wants to be better and get better at something. When it comes to ministry there is not a silver bullet. However, if you are looking for ONE book that could radically change your ministry this may be it. If you are in ministry you have your own mental scorecard as to how you evaluate how you are doing personally and professionally. This book will change your thinking, clarify what ministry is all about, and at the same time help restore your emotional health. This book is not about how to launch large, how to baptize more people, how to attract a crowd, or how to increase your offerings. Or maybe it is! Perhaps we have been looking for the answers in the wrong place. Perhaps our idea of ministry has been askew. Perhaps our idea of success has just about destroyed us. Rather that highlight thoughts from the book because yours will be different than mine, let me suggest that it is to your own peril that you delay in reading this book. Read it through once, and then go through it again with more reflection. My prediction: It will easily be in the top 5 books you read this year!
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