Success – An Alternative Perspective
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We often base our measure of success in ministry on different things such as how many people attended, how the people responded, and what our team members said about it afterwards. But what about when things don’t work out as planned? How do we measure success then?
Recently, I was asked to pray about and prepare an outline and questions for one of our teams in a correctional facility. Right away, I knew which scripture passage to use because the Lord had impressed on me some verses a couple of weeks before during my own time with Him. I prayerfully prepared and sent the outline to my team members. We were all praying during the week before going in. When we arrived at the facility on the designated day, it turned out we weren’t allowed to go in due to a facility lock down. Of course, this news was disappointing but then another team member and I sat down on a bench and prayed together for the inmates and staff.
While driving home, I thought about what had just happened. How would I measure this? First, I was reminded that God’s measure of success is not the same as ours. As a wise leader once told me “Success is acting in obedience to what God calls us to do”. By preparing and going with willing hearts, we were acting in obedience.
Then I thought about what I had learned in preparing for this day and how I had been encouraged. The process had led me to reflect on God’s word and on my own experience of coming to know Christ and I was filled with gratitude, thanksgiving, and praise. Praying ahead of time and then showing up to the facility and staying to pray was important. I believe God heard our prayers and was already working in the lives of inmates and staff in the facility.
When we left to go home, we know that God stayed. So even though we weren’t able to go in as planned that week, nothing was wasted. We acted in heartfelt obedience to God’s call; in the end the outcome was not up to us. So now we continue to pray and trust God and look forward to the next opportunity to join Him there in the facility.
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TRAINER: TRAINER: Margaret Johnston, staff – EDM
SOURCE: Recorded for TAKE2
POSTED: Oct 2018
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