How do you measure heart change?

I mentioned last week that our staff team did some brainstorming on how to measure heart change. We were realistic going in - many churches have attempted to measure their effectiveness, and to my knowledge nobody has stumbled on the magic bullet. 

In some senses, it is impossible to measure the heart because it is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) and only God truly knows it (Psalm 17:3; Acts 15:8). However, I'm convinced that there are ways we can measure our effectiveness. Paul knew the difference between a thriving church (Ephesians 1:15-16) and a dying church (Galatians 3:1; 1 Corinthians 4:21). So did Jesus (Revelation 3:7-13; Revelation 3:14-16). For them to evaluate various churches, there had to be some observable criteria. 

The danger is, observable criteria can almost always be replicated by religious people whose heart is not changed. 

Unbelievers have quiet times. Religious people show up to church, and small group, and Bible Study, and mission projects. An agnostic can pray, or give money. If we quantify our quantification too much, we run the risk of patting ourselves on the backs while we create religious people whose hearts are far from God. 

So I want to ask you the question we have been asking ourselves: Are there specific things we could measure in a person to see whether or not he or she is growing as a follower of Jesus Christ which could not be replicated by hypocrites.

I think I have an answer, but I'd like to hear yours first. What do you think? 


Deren W said...


It seems a true hallmark is selflessness and submission - submission to Christ and to others. If someone is truly changing and their trust is in Christ, they are willing to deny themselves. How many people are willing to do that for something they truly do not believe in?
Just a thought. Good question!