The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Defining Success

Posted by Pastor Szekely on July 28, 2006

How should the people of God define success? Today in what’s called “contemporary ministry philosophy”, success is defined by how large a church is, by multimillion-dollar facilities, spas, handball courts, day-care centers, and so on. But as statistics show, not even one church in a thousand falls into this category.

This ought to tell us one of two things: either most churches are and have been pitiful failures, or the gauge of success in ministry must be something besides a material prosperity. So the question is, “How should the people of God define success”? Should external factors and criteria even be a gauge of success in the ministry for God?

Now the world, and unfortunately contemporary ministry philosophy, says that prosperity, power, prominence, and popularity would be some good gauges of success. But what does God say? “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” 2 Tim 4:2-5.

God says that real success is not “results at any cost”, but it is doing God’s will regardless of the consequences. Let’s not change!

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3 Responses to “Defining Success”

  1. Millers said

    Looks good. Is very informative. Look forward to reading more. Just wish it was either larger print, or bolder print. Maybe there is something I can do on my computer to correct that. Good job.

  2. Amen brother! The philosophy of “results at any cost” leads to such compromise as contemporary music, ear tickling preaching, alien baptism and weak stands on doctrine. Psalms 127:1 “Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.”

  3. Scott Peters said

    In paragraph 3 you state ‘contemporary ministry philosophy, says that prosperity, power, prominence, and popularity would be some good gauges of success.” I’d like to know your documentation, where these “facts” come from. It has been my experience that Pastors whose ministries have not flourished often use your statement as an excuse for their lack of growth. They say this even as they move from the newest program to the newest program in search of the “spiritual” magic bullet that will launch them into the Mega-Church world. It also contains the flavor of sour grapes.

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