When you think about success in life and ministry, what really comes to mind? What do you consider as the evidence of success in ministry?
For some ministers, it is the membership strength of their church, but for others, it is the number of people they reach with their message on a weekly basis. However, some others measure their success by the finances of the ministry or the impact the ministry has on the community.
To put things in the right perspective, I will like to state that success in ministry is accomplishing what you were sent to do by the Lord. So if gathering people for worship service is the hallmark of your calling, that becomes your measuring yardstick. But if community service is it, you better focus more on that than gathering people for weekly services.
That means no one can really tell whether or not you are succeeding in YOUR ministry because they weren’t there when God called and commissioned you!Do not allow what others think about you and your assignment drive you into what God didn't send you. Your priority should always be to please the one that sent you and not onlookers! Click To Tweet
In this post, we will look at four important factors to have a successful ministry and indeed a successful life.
1) A Vivid Call Into The Ministry
Many times, I playfully say there are two types of ministers. The “sent” and those who just “went”. By this, I mean that some were called into the ministry but others just like the job and took it upon themselves.
Quite frankly, none of them is a sin per se but to succeed in ministry, it has to be more than a job for you. It has to be something you see as the reason for your being. Apart from it, you would consider life meaningless and worthless
There must be a clear conviction of your calling into this vocation because let’s face it, being in the ministry is serious work! The “called” are already finding it hard enough let alone having those who aren’t called dabbling into it.
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! (1 Cor 9:16)
The expression “necessity is laid upon me” means to be obligated to do something. So except you can say like Paul, I am obligated to do this, you are probably in the wrong place!
2) A Clear Ministry Vision
Once you are clear about God calling you into the ministry, the next important element for success is a vivid vision of where God is taking you.
You see, as human beings, we are built to be led by sight. But this “sight” doesn’t have to be the one that our optical eyes see. In fact, to be led by what your optical eyes can see is to live a limited life because those eyes are limited to only things that already exist.
Vision is the ability to see a preferred future even when the prevailing facts don’t align with it. Your vision of what could be in 10 years is what keeps you on course and carries you through the stormy days in life and ministry.
Remember how God had been telling Abraham about the glorious future He had planned. The Lord told him how his seed will be like the sand of the seashore in number but Abraham really didn’t get the picture.
The Lord had to take him outside on night and make him count the stars in the sky. That was when the picture of all the Lord had been saying dawned on him. The bible says it was then that he believed and it was counted to him for righteousness. (Gen 15:5-6)
Until Abraham saw the fact that he had been made the father of many nations, he had no child! Until you see the glory in the ministry that God has committed into your trust, you won’t achieve much either.
3) Divine Location And Timing
These are the one most people overlook and yet, very little can be achieved without them. When you read through scriptures, you will discover that God always has a specific place and a time for everything He orchestrates.
Look at Jesus for example, everything about His life was planned to the detail. Every step He took was for the fulfillment of one prophecy or the other. The place He was baptized, the time He began His ministry and even the place He was crucified were all part of a bigger design.
Abraham could not become all that God wanted him to be until he came out of his kindred. Moses could not step into his ministry until he went back to Egypt where he had been banished 40 years earlier.A good way to begin to gain clarity on the place of your ministry will be to discover who you were sent to. Once that is clear, figuring out where you should be running ministry won't be that hard. Click To Tweet
For example, if you were sent to minister to students, you will be wasting time running a hospital ministry. While hospital ministry is good in itself, it is just not good for you. On the other hand, if you were sent to minister to students while on campus, you will be wasting time continuing with a student ministry after your days as a student.
I remember how a pastor had initially thought that the fact that he was a student was the reason he was sent to pastor students. So the moment he left school, he quickly began to plan ministry around non-students.
After about 3 years of nonprogressive ministry to non-students, while the work among students kept growing, he decided to take some time to pray and know what the matter was. It was then that the Lord revealed to him that He never asked him to stop pastoring students!
Also, it is important to note that the location of your ministry can change as you progress in it. As such, you have to develop a consistent fellowship life with the Holy Ghost to be in line with His plan for you per time and be effective in ministry.
4) Preparation For Ministry Success
In most cases, this is the difference between the successful and unsuccessful minister. This is because many ministers never pay attention to their training in ministry.Actually, preparing for ministry is the most important step you can take because while God may call an ignorant and untrained man, He doesn't do much with anyone that remains ignorant. Click To Tweet
It will take being trained of the Lord for the work He has called you into to turn out effective in ministry.
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Cor 1:21)
Please note that there is a difference between “foolishness of preaching” and “foolish preaching” The foolishness of preaching refers to the assumption that just by hearing words that may not even be articulately put together, people can be saved.
That is completely different from foolish preaching which means preaching out of ignorance. According to Paul’s letter to Timothy, God never endorses an ignorant minister!
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15)
So if you want God’s approval in ministry, here is how to get it… Give yourself to the study of the word and training for ministry.
There you have it!
With a vivid call from God, a clear vision, making sure you are in line with God’s location and timing, PLUS adequate training for the work of the ministry, you are in line to achieve great success in your ministry.
What other factors for success in ministry do you know? Let’s discuss them in the comments below.