Youth Ministry: Looking at Success Differently

Youth Ministry: Looking at Success Differently August 24, 2011

When I read through scripture, so many times, I see God moving through the little things, and the lowly things, and doing big things with them… But the thing is some of the people he chose to move through never got to see the fruit from their efforts…

Sometimes in ministry we don’t get the opportunity to see the fruits produced from the efforts we put out… How do we know what success is then? How do we know what we’re doing matters, that its worth putting in the time and effort for…

Thinking through scripture, Stephen is a great example for us. Very few people in our American modern day ministries would look at a “Stephen” and think, “Success.” We could so easily label him as an “epic fail”, ineffective, a bad communicator… he was dragged out of, not only the temple, but the city gates and martyred after only preaching once… Who knew that this man abiding to God and his commands would make more impact off of one sermon that many would with their entire lives…  Did he do it with his power, his own wit and eloquent speaking? No he did it solely through abiding to God following His heart, and relying on the power of the spirit, getting out of the way and pointing to the cross…

Moses a man who wondered for 40 years through the desert, with the griping and grumbling Israelite’s arriving at his destination, the promised land… to think through the relief, of finally reaching your destination after 40 grueling years of submission and wandering around in the desert… for God to only tell him, actually… you’re not here. I’m going to take you on to this mountain and kill you before you are there. Wow.

Needless to say, success in ministry is not always what we think it is, success in ministry comes from abiding to the guidance of the holy spirit… that could mean and lead to a 5,000 person church, or it could lead to losing your entire congregation, or your job… success isn’t always what we think it is, success can look radically different when we take it from a biblical perspective…

For those who are abiding and feeling discouraged and beat up as if they’ve failed… not seeing the fruit of their efforts, these are times we have to hold on to Romans 8:28, “and we know that in all things god works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…” when bad things happen, when ministry does not go “our way”, when a message seems to fall upon deaf ears, when leaders, or volunteers don’t follow or even show up, when a student stops showing up, or when we don’t get to see one of God’s promises come to completion, we need to have faith, in the fact that God has everything under control. That God will see his promise to completion… and that no matter how much we seemingly fail, or mess up, in the end He still wins and comes out victorious.

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