Success in Ministry


“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”

George Sheehan

Many times success in ministry is defined by how many kids show up on Sunday morning.  Or how much money you make.  Or how big is your budget.  Or any number of other things.  I sometimes have to remind myself those things are not necessary for success.

When I think of success I think of making a difference.  I may not have many in attendance on Sunday morning, and I may not have much money to work with, but I can still make a difference.  It’s humbling to have the privilege to stand before a group of kids and present the truth about God to them week after week.  Sure I think it would be great to have more kids show up.  It would be awesome to have a budget to work with.  It would be nice to make more money.  But that’s not why I do what I do. I do it to make a difference with those kids that do up.

I can think of several situations that I will remember for a while.  Situations that make me almost cry when I think about them.  Situations that say SUCCESS.

We had a mildly autistic boy that attend our church. His parents struggled with bringing him–they were worried that he would be a distraction. To be honest, he often is, but that is not a reason to treat him any differently, or love on him any less.  One week as soon as church was dismissed I had to leave the kids area to talk to a few people.  In the middle of a conversation I hear a voice yell across the room “PASTOR RON….I DIDN’T GET TO TELL YOU GOODBYE” and he ran up and gave me a hug.  His parents said that they could not leave until he got to say goodbye and give me a hug.  It may not seem like much, but I have a tear in my eye right now just thinking about it.  Making a difference.  Success.

I had a grandma find me because she wanted to talk to me.  She could not believe the change she saw in her grandson since he had been coming to church.  He was not with us all the time because of joint custody, but he came when he is with his dad, who was recently saved.  We were able to give him a bible, because he didn’t have one.  He bought it with him every week.  He paid attention, and was great at retelling stories for kids who were absent the previous week.  Making a difference.  Success.

I have to be careful sometimes and remember whose definition of success I am striving for. I have to do the best with what I am given.  I have to ‘be faithful in the little things’.  The one thing I know is that I am making a difference.  I am seeing God use me.  I am successful.

I would love to hear how are you being successful ? How do you define success?

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2 Responses

  1. Ron, great article that hit home for me. By church standards our special needs ministry is large…and if I’m not careful I begin to define success by “numbers.”
    This year, I want to define success in our ministry as this: “the quality of relationships we have with our kids and their families.”

    • Thanks for reading! It is hard to not think of the numbers, but there is so much more to success than the size of the ministry. I love your definition of success–it is all about relationships

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