My day job has taught me many good things. One of them has been the idea that you should measure what you do. That way, you know if you have made a difference or not.
I know measuring what you do is not very postmodern. Measuring what you do is very modern, cerebral and propositional. Facts and statistics are objective, distant and cold. But I'm okay with that. Because as youthworkers, it's important to know whether we are actually making a difference or not. One metric can be how our students are doing after they have graduated high school and left our ministries for a time.
So I thought I would reflect a little bit on the class of 03. I was a guys small group leader for 4 years with them, from 1999-2003. For the 1999 school year, I had a student leader (MG - who is leaving for a year or two for Turkey in a few days.) My wife came on with the girls in 2001 and stayed until graduation. We also had a great couple on the team that started in 2000 staying until the end (MK and SK). And we had another great couple with guys and girls from 2001-2002 (who left being Dteam leaders to go to Australia to start a campus ministry, RP and JP.) Hmm a bit of a pattern I think. And also, I NEVER talked about missions the way I do now, until the Spring of 2003, right before these kids graduated.
So... here are some metrics, except I'm not going to talk about overall numbers. Mostly because its hard to remember, but also because I'm more interested in relative numbers. Sort of.
June 2003 - Graduation (don't you miss your high school days?)
December 2003 - sent 11 of this class to Urbana Student Missions Conference
summer 2004 - sent 3 on a two week long mission trip to Kazakhstan - 2 from Urbana
summer 2005 - 1 works with Campus Crusade ministry in Wildwood NJ
summer 2005 - 3 help as SPACE mission team leaders - 2 from Urbana
summer 2005 - 4 go on overseas missional trips - 2 from Kstan team, 1 SPACE leader, 1 from Urbana
So overall, at the end of two years, there is a 15 total people (not counting the overlap) that are involved in some kind of cross cultural, intentional, missional experience. That are living for something more than just themselves. That are commited to spreading the news of Jesus to the ends of the earth. That are captivated by the mission God has for them, whether its in another culture or on their campus.
I don't know, in some sense, maybe those facts are a lot less cerebral. Maybe they will really move you.