What kind of Ministry has God called you to? No matter what it is, all of us want to realize an effective ministry. The question is what is the key to success in Christian ministry?
Some may argue that that’s an irrelevant question. They believe that success in ministry is a given if in fact what we are doing is what God has called us to do. In other words, they contend that the key to success in ministry is simply to make sure that we are doing the will of God.
But think about it. Why is it that many of us are serving God in exactly the same way but we are realizing substantially different degrees of success in ministry? Based on the reasoning in the previous paragraph, does that suggest that some of us are not properly aligned with God’s will for our life?
Perhaps that is the problem at times.
But there must be more to it than that. Many of us know the local pastor who started a local church and two years later it became a mega church while almost every other church in town struggled to maintain its current size or to stay open.
Why in heaven is that? Is it simply the superior capability of that minister? I think not.
Three Vital Considerations for Your Success in Christian Ministry
To speak to the question above, let me share what I regard as three vital considerations to success in ministry.
1. God’s grace.
Two people may have the same calling, but that does not mean their ministry results will be same. That is true even if the two do all of the exact same things.
The mystery is called the grace of God. But oftentimes when a church leader realizes a thriving ministry, he writes a book or books about how to build a successful ministry and hosts church growth conferences so others can adopt his strategies.
Of course, we can learn from the successes of others. But doing what worked for others is no guarantee it will for us. The grace God bestows upon us for ministry differs for each of us. As Paul the apostle wrote concerning himself, “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).
2. God’s timing.
Though we may be serving God in accordance with His will, there is a time associated with our ministry. It is God who determines when the time is right for us to go forth with the work He has called us to do. Some ministries require more time than others do. Some people require more time than others do.
For instance, I know a couple of young preachers who implemented fast-track schemes to get a pastorate much sooner than they had been properly prepared to do so. Their haste was telling in their performance. We are most effective when we stay in step with the Lord.
The one who runs best is not the one who runs the race the fastest but the one who runs it in accordance with God’s timing for his ministry.
3. Personal stewardship.
We have gifts differing according to the grace that has been given us (Romans 12:6). But our stewardship or the lack of it will have serious bearing on our success in ministry or the lack thereof.
All other things being equal, it is our personal stewardship that determines what becomes of the ministry gift God has given us. For instance, Paul advises Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Serving God requires diligence and faithfulness. He will never bless slothfulness. It has no legitimate place in His Kingdom.
With regard to Christian ministry, we serve a God of amazing diversity. We must avoid comparing our performance with that of someone else. What may be regarded as effective ministry for one person may not be for another person—in the eyes of God.
No matter what God has called you to do, however, I submit that the three considerations above are vital to your “success” in ministry.