Fulfill YOUR Ministry

21 02 2013

There’s no doubt that we live in a world where success is king and everyone has their own definition or brand of success. For some success is fame and popularity. For others success is wealth. Churches in general and specifically pastors are certainly not immune to the drive to succeed and to measure success by worldly standards. The pressure to perform in the ministry is immense. There’s pressure to grow a large church, pressure to entertain instead of preach, pressure to be funny instead of preach, pressure to appease people and please them, pressure to be liked, pressure to be some sort of pastor pop star, and so many other pressures to “succeed.”

This drives me to consider: What is success in the ministry? With all of the pressures listed above and many others there is ultimately a huge temptation to be someone that we’re not. At the end of the day, Matt Chandler’s advice is obviously solid and biblical…”Fulfill your ministry.” In other words, obey Christ and in the process be who God has and is making you to be. The central command and calling for every believer today is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, our availability and faithfulness to that mission determines our success in the ministry.

Here’s the problem: MAKING DISCIPLES IS NOT FLASHY! When we make disciples we will rarely, if ever (likely never), hear the applause of the crowds. It is truly hard work, full of potential let down and disappointments, and of course at times there will be seasons of growth in ourselves and others that bring personal joy and satisfaction allowed by the grace of God enabling us and others to grow and bear fruit for the glory of Jesus Christ. However, applause and fame are just not typically a part of that. So we have a choice to make. Do we want to be faithful to Christ and make disciples OR do we want to pursue the “success” that so many buy into today (yes, in the Church) and go after the big crowds and all the flash and pomp and circumstance that can go with modern ministry. Don’t get me wrong…big crowds are cool and impacting when God is moving and Christ is at the center of all that’s happening, but this is rare.

At the end of my life and ministry I want to be found successful and to me that means being faithful to fulfill the ministry that God has graciously given to me. It may not be flashy or garner the attention of the masses or gain the applause of large crowds, but if I can hear from the King of glory “Well done good and faithful servant” then I will have run my race and finished my course and kept the faith and received a crown to lay down at the feet of He who alone is worthy.

What does success look like for you? If someone were to witness your life and priorities how would they say you define success? What’s your greatest challenge to having biblical success? How do we make disciples?

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