What is Success?

Our ministry motivation should ultimately be one thing: to please our commanding officer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs -he wants to please his commanding officer. ~ II Timothy 2:4

READING: II Timothy 2:1-14

The Apostle Paul, my hero, did not exactly “succeed” every time he attempted to plant a church. In fact, not only did he not “succeed,” in some instances he was beaten, stoned, imprisoned and left for dead! It seemed like the soldier of Christ lost the battles.

Yet he was successful in each instance because of this: he pleased the Lord, his “commanding officer,” in his efforts. He was successful because he sought and did the will of the Lord. He lost many battles, yet he won the war!

Paul repeatedly wrote about the success of pleasing Jesus. He proclaimed that “Our purpose is to please God, not people” (I Thes. 2:4b). In Galatians 1:10, he put it this way: “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Church planting leader, what is your measure of success? Is it numbers? Is it being liked? Is it growth? Is it progress, notoriety, comfort or admiration? None of these is the true biblical measure of success. All of them are good gifts if God gives them, but our ministry motivation should ultimately be one thing: to please our commanding officer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

All of us want “success.” All of us will have it when we strive each day to please the Lord.

Lord, I want to be successful in church planting by pleasing You. Please help me keep that goal foremost in my life and ministry. Amen. 

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Dynamic Church Planting International is committed to training and equipping church planters around the globe, planting reproducing churches and establishing national partnerships. Learn about them at their website, DCPI.org.