“Does anyone really listen to me?” “Am I making any kind of a real impact for the cause of Christ or am I just fooling myself?” “Maybe someone else would be more affective.” Others have shared these thoughts and I have entertained them at various times. Anyone in ministry, whether as a vocation or volunteer, wonders the usefulness of what they do. Some would say that this is not very spiritual. “If you are spiritual, it wouldn’t matter to you.” Let’s get past the platitudes and get to real life. We want to the best we can for the Lord and make the biggest impact we can for the cause of Christ. This causes us to evaluate what we do and our labor’s effectiveness.
Jeneen and I started in ministry as a vocation thirty five years ago. Much has transpired during those thirty five years. Would I do some things different if I could go back and start again? Absolutely! But we do not have a “do over.” Somehow, some way, God has worked in and through us over those years. Many times it would seem He worked in spite of us. Do I wish more would have happened; that we had a greater impact, more results, and wonderful fruit evidenced by everyone? Of course! But all we could do is be us. I have this treasure from God in an earthly vessel. I have thorns in the flesh. My weaknesses are for God’s strength and glory to be seen.
Pastoring a small church is not easy. Pastoring a large church is not easy. Let’s face it, ministry is not easy. It is a labor of love for the Lord, for His Word, for His people and for the lost. The results are in God’s hands. As I have said for years, “God is working in us and through us for His purposes and glory.” This conclusion has come after struggling with effectiveness in ministry.
We cannot look to the results to determine our impact. God is working in us and through us as we walk with Him. We cannot be anything more than who God has created us to be and do anything more than He empowers us to do. But we should be the godliest people we can be, letting God have His perfect way in our lives.
So, if you are pastoring a small church, be the godly pastor He wants you to be. The people God gives you to shepherd need someone to minister and love them. God has given them you. If you are pastoring a large church, be the godly pastor He wants you to be. Results are in His hands. He will work in you and through you to do His will as you walk surrendered to Him. You cannot be someone else. You cannot make it happen. God gives the increase in His time and His way. We are called to be faithful no matter where He places us or what position we hold. As we are faithful we can have confidence that God is bringing about His results in and through us according to His plan and for His glory.
May God freely work in you and through you and you walk with Him. May we be content with His will and His results for our lives while striving to be all He would want us to be.