Over the next several posts I want to discuss “success” with you. Now, the subject matter of these posts are not original from me - but God did use them to help form me. I mentioned in my last post what a joy it is watching our students learn great biblical truths early on in their life and how that bodes well for the future of Trinity. Early on in my ministry one of my dearest friends in the world, Dr. Herb Reavis gave me a book written by Kent Hughes entitled “Liberating Ministry From The Success Syndrome.” If I could point to a single book - authored by man that is - that forever changed my view of ministry and life, it would be this book. I go back to it often - it has helped my outlook and perspective more times than you can imagine! I encourage every young man I know going into the ministry to read this book. But as I have flipped through it through the years, I realized that while this book is written primarily to those who are pastors, it is a book that should help define success for every believer. I believe if we, as God’s people will look at these subjects and define our church’s success, family’s success, and life in general’s success by these standards, we would truly impact the world for the cause of Christ! I will only deal with the first one in this post:
Success Is Faithfulness: Now, this is obviously true for the Pastor - to be successful in the eyes of The One who matters, I must be faithful to Him. I must faithfully preach the Word of God, stand by it, live by it! But, does God require anything less than faithfulness from every believer? Over and over Scripture links success to obedience. Now, let’s be clear - just because the WORLD calls you successful, doesn’t mean you’re obedient to God’s Word. In fact, if you recall Moses struck the rock in the wilderness when God told him to speak to it! Water still came out… it seemed successful from the results, but it failed miserably in eyes of God because Moses was not faithful to keep God’s Word. If we are going to be faithful to the Word of God, we must KNOW the Word of God and continually be growing in our knowledge of it. Are we doing this? Hughes ends up saying: “Success then, comes when we faithfully study God’s Word and faithfully obey it, applying what we understand to all areas of our lives under the direction of the Holy Spirit.” Wow! What if all of us would judge ourselves and our church by this standard? There is a tendency to measure ourselves against another believer, but God will not compare us in that way. He doesn’t look at Trinity and compare us to other churches in our city. One of the chief ways He judges our success is faithfulness to His Word. By nature we don’t like to be judged this way - we like something concrete… we like the numbers, we like the measurable statistics, that way we can keep the score. However, that is not how our God works. I want to encourage you this week to pray that Trinity Baptist Church is successful in regard to our faithfulness! Pray that your Pastor and leadership will be faithful, and pray that you will be found faithful in your calling as a believer!