How Much Gained
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
One of the keys to living a productive life is knowing if you have gained in the areas where you are responsible. Not keeping track of what you have gained is a destiny of failure, regret, and mediocrity. The parable of the nobleman who told his servants to occupy till he came back shows the importance that God puts upon gaining with what He has given for you to do. You will notice that when the nobleman returned, he enquired from his servant how much every man had gained. You will notice that he did not ask how sincere they were, but how much they had gained. Why is that? Because God expects His children to gain in their Christian walk.
One reason churches are dying is because we have stopped expecting gain and are satisfied with maintaining. Nowhere in the Scriptures will you find that God is happy with His children maintaining; He always expects us to gain or profit. To maintain shows that God has lost His power to gain; whereas, to gain shows that God is still capable of gaining in our present day. Several things must be done if we are going to gain in our churches.
First, there must be an expectation of gain. From the top to everyone underneath leadership, there must be an expectation of people gaining. You will never have a church that grows if you applaud mediocrity and maintaining over gaining. The preaching must set the standard that anything less than gaining is not enough, and the expectation of anyone who holds a position must be to gain.
Second, tools must be given to help people to gain. In other words, if you have not trained people on how to gain, that is your fault. You can't expect people to know how to lead people to Christ if you don't train them. You can't expect Sunday school teachers to grow their classes if you don't teach them weekly in a Sunday school teachers meeting how to grow their class. You cannot expect bus workers to grow their route if you are not giving them tips every week on how to grow their route. Yes, we should expect gain, but people will not know how to do it if you are not continually training them.
Third, records must be kept. You will never know if you are gaining or losing if you do not keep records. Keeping records has a way of convicting you or encouraging you, depending on if you are stagnant or growing. The wise Christian servant will keep records of their soul winning, bus route attendance, and Sunday school attendance. The wise pastor will keep records of every service attendance if they want to grow. You cannot know how you are doing without keeping records.
Fourth, there must be accountability if you are to grow. You cannot praise those who are not growing. Accountability is one of the harder areas to enforce because it means a leader must ask those not gaining why they are not growing. Accountability is a part of life for the successful, and holding people accountable for what they are doing for the LORD will prevent people from becoming stagnant and comfortable with mediocrity. The wise believer will let their records hold them accountable to how they are doing, and the wise leader will hold those they have given responsibility accountable.