Success Isn’t That Simple

The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many people for Me to hand the Midianites over to you, or else Israel might brag: ‘I did it myself.'” – Judges 7:2

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Much has been made of “size” when it comes to ministry in the U.S. and, for the most part, I am okay with it. Some good things have come from the mega, meta, and multi-campus ministries in recent decades. The only concern I have is when we make too much of it.

Success in God’s service should never be measured solely by the size (or quantifiable impact) of the ministry. Huge attendance does not equal greatness in God’s economy. In the same way, success must also never be solely attributed to size. God can obviously do a lot with a little, too. Success is just never that simple.

The measure of ministry effectiveness should always be seen in life transformation and we should all agree that such “conversion” is God’s territory, not ours. When leaders fall into the trap of reporting “head” counts, campus counts, or (even worse) “numbers saved” counts, they (despite all their protestations otherwise) are attributing credit to something or someone other than the Almighty. Though they say, “Look what God has done!,” they are in danger of adding “with our help” to the equation.

It isn’t that numbers are bad. We should just let God do the counting.

God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves. – D. L. Moody

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