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I think our tendency in the modern Christian circles, the modern church circles, ecclesiastical circles is to really focus on externals, like the size of your church, how many people attend, and how many programs you have or what your facility is like. Even something like how many people have you brought into the kingdom? How many people have been saved, have you evangelized? These are not necessarily bad things, I'm not trying to bash that, but is that really what we should be focusing on when it comes to a successful ministry? Even the word success I have a ... kind of grates against me. What does that mean, success?
I remember reading a story of a missionary in India who spent 25 years evangelizing in India and there were no converts. After he passed away, there seemingly was a great revival and many, many people came to the Lord. Could it have been his work, planting seeds and watering? He may not have seen the fruit in the sense of converts coming to his church, but he did the work that God called him to do, even if the world would say he was a failure or even the church would say he was a failure. We can't say that.
I think one of the things I'd like to focus on in answering that question is faithfulness, faithfulness to God, faithfulness to His word, faithfulness to the covenant, if you will. As a pastor, faithfulness to not only God and His word and faithfully preaching His word, but living His word, and also faithfulness in the home, faithfulness in your marriage, faithfulness in your parenting and with children. That I think should be something that is elevated more and looked upon is the daily grind, the daily living for God, the daily dependence and reliance upon God's grace, upon Christ's work, upon the Holy Spirit's promptings and sensitivity to His presence once again in our lives.