Thursday, November 05, 2009
"99 Bodies of Brethren on the Wall"
At our monthly preachers meeting this morning, the brother who was leading the discussion asked us to do two things. First he asked us to list in order of priority the ten things we need to do to be successful in ministry, and they he asked us to do the same with ten things we needed to do to be effective in ministry. He was making a good point for us to think about. There is a difference between a successful ministry and an effective ministry. The truly big question, however, is how and from where we define success and effectiveness. I am totally convinced that most church leaders define both more from worldly standards than from God's plans. My #1 on both lists was "Helping people have a deeper relationship with Jesus." There is nothing more important and there is no better qualifier of success than someone drawing closer to Jesus. Sometimes it's introducing someone to Jesus, and helping them begin their spiritual journey with Him, and sometimes it's helping a brother or sister in Christ love Him more, know Him better, or become just a little more like Him. That involves caring about people, loving them, and helping them use the tools God has given us so that we can deepen our relationship with Him. Our focus on "numbers = success" comes from the world. Jesus talked about numbers, but He emphasized the need of the one over the ninety and nine. The world would say that what counts most is the ninety-nine up on the attendance display board. To Jesus, success and effectiveness was measured by finding that one who wandered away and bringing it back into the fold. Maybe if we start doing that with the one hundred God has given us, He might blesses us with one thousand to guide and shepherd.