Liberating ministry from the success syndrome – Kent Hughes

Here are my notes from tonight’s talk at the DGM pastors conference.

You don’t need to be extraordinary to be in ministry just called.

Can a man be a success in the ministry and pastor a small church?

What is failure in the ministry?

What is success in the ministry?

Secular thinking puts a number on everything.

1. No place in the Bible where God’s servants are called to be successful but rather faithful. You can be hugely successful in ministry and be a huge failure in Gods eyes. Success is about faithful obedience to Gods word. Success comes from knowing Gods word and doing Gods word. It is equally available to all of us.

2. There is no success apart from a servants heart. If Jesus washed feet so should we.

3. Before all things, even service for God, we must love God. There is no success without loving God. It’s possible to be the pastor of a large church and not love God. “I committed myself to loving God no matter what the future will hold.”

4. Where there is no faith there is no smile of God and no success. Faith believes God exists and that he rewards his people. What we believe about God is everything.

5. Passionate prayer is essential for success. Jesus was a man of prayer. He couldn’t carry on his ministry without dependent prayer. How much more us?

6. There is no success without holiness. Many apparently successful pastors are actually abysmal failures. Samson didn’t even know that God had departed him.

7. Attitude is more important than apparent success. Negativism and jealousy must be avoided like the plague. Don’t restrict the rise of others, elevate others. Eg John the Baptist “he must increase but I must decrease.”

All of these defy quantification. Whether you were on the upside or downside of numbers, you must have a biblical definition of success. You probably need it more if you are apparently successful.

All of these are supernatural. None of them can be accomplished in the flesh.

Success is power in weakness. It is supernatural.

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  • David Hodges

    Very encouraging this morning! I just need to put God first!