No One Sees These 15 Things—but They Will Determine a Planter’s Success

Your public success is determined by your private faithfulness.

church Planter’s Success

“For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.”Luke 8:17

Your public success is determined by your private faithfulness.

North Metro Church in Marietta, Ga., does everything with excellence. Led by lead pastor Rob McDowell, their services are done with excellence. Their ministries are delivered with excellence. Their volunteers serve with excellence. Their facilities are excellent. They develop their staff with excellence. But I saw something today that reminded me why their ministry operates at such a consistently high level.

On the church’s second floor is a theater for overflow viewings of their morning services. Adjacent to the theater is a window overlooking the back of the property. As I looked out the window I saw something which fascinated me.

As I previously mentioned, North Metro’s facilities are excellent. Very clean. Spotless. Large gathering spaces. Great signage. They also have very attractive landscaping. Beautiful bushes. Manicured lawns. Nice green grass. Pavement and sidewalks with no potholes. But when I looked out that window, I saw behind the building. The part no one sees. And the back lawn was as manicured and had as green as grass as the front of the property.  he part of the property no one sees was handled with as much excellence and care as the part everyone sees.

Jon Gordon in his wonderful book The Carpenter says there is a difference between a carpenter and a craftsman. A carpenter simply builds something. A craftsman is an artist. A craftsman uses just as expensive wood and gives just as much time and care to the part of a project no one sees (the back of a bookcase for example) as the part everyone sees.

The success of any business, organization, non-profit, athletic team or, yes, even a church, is determined by its commitment to excellence to the things which no one sees.

The following are 15 Things No One Ever Sees Which Largely Determine a Pastor’s Success:

1. How much you love your spouse.

2. How much you engage your family.

3. How much you study God’s Word.

4. How much you invest in your staff and leadership teams.

5. How much you practice and work on your craft.

6. How much you encourage others.

7. How much you exercise and eat right.

8. How much you build meaningful, lasting and replenishing friendships.

9. How much you personally practice good financial principles.

10. How much you weep for your city and the spiritual condition of your lost friends.

11. How much you apologize for mistakes you have made.

12. How much you comfort those in crisis.

13. How much conflict you resolve.

14. How much time you get away and simply rest.

15. And most importantly, how much you pray for God to bless the previous 14 items for you and your church.

Everyone sees the final product on Sunday. But looking out the back window of North Metro Church reminded me all success is ultimately determined by what no one sees.

Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See for additional insights.