3. The sailing is smooth.
Confession: I wrote this blog post for myself. I have a bad habit of throwing my hands in the air and assuming I'm doing ministry all wrong whenever the road gets rocky. But the Bible says that trials are simply par for the course. In fact, we can respond to trials with that same jumping-up-and-down joy that we do to criticism because they help us minister for the long haul.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).
If he was using ease as the gauge for success, Paul would have hung up his hat. Likewise, we shouldn't determine our effectiveness by whether or not the going is easy. (Did you hear that, Erin?)
Who's In Charge of Growth?
So how can you know if you are ministering effectively? It may seem crazy ... but I'm not sure you can.
In 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, Paul said this about ministry. "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth" (emphasis added).
Ultimately, the fruit of your efforts isn't up to you. You can't predict how God will grow your ministry nor can you control it. You can be faithful, looking for opportunities to share and to serve everywhere you go, and at the end of the day, you can lay down your garden tools and trust God with the fruit.
Speaking of gardens and fruit, here's a promise for all who minister. There will be a harvest, friend. I look forward to reaping it together with you.
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" (Gal. 6:9).
What promises keep you going as you do ministry for the kingdom?
Taken from Erin Davis's blog post "3 Terrible Ways to Measure the Success of Your Ministry." www.TrueWoman.com. Used with permission.
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