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DOES SUCCESS IN MINISTRY = A CHARACTER DOWNFALL? (by Kyle Shreve)

Let me paraphrase all this by saying that I am not trying to determine what success is, or what makes a ministry successful. You can decide that on your own. I want to talk about character, which is something that cannot be measured or quantified in normal, tangible terms.

I think we all want to do great things for God, and see Him use our lives in a big way, right? I can’t imagine anyone going off to bible college with the end goal of pastoring a church where nothing happens and no one ever gets saved. We’d all laugh at the person who set their ambitions as “Just kinda hang out until Jesus comes back.” On the other hand, we’d all be even more shocked at the pastor who said “I’m going to build a mega church, and I’ll use sin and destruction to do so if I have to!” Or, his brother who would say “I’ll build a big mega church, but have major sin problems that no one can see.”

At first, I thought you could make a graph of ministry choice that looked like this

Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 10.32.33 AM

You would have to either be a low character leader to build a ministry, or be a high character leader, but not have the ministry of the other guy. I really thought that there was a correlation between ministry success and a dearth of character. However, this really isn’t the case. The real graph would look like this:

Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 10.59.16 AM

Now, obviously, we would all want to be in quadrant 1: High character, successful ministry. But having a more successful ministry  does not guarantee strong character or weak character. And having a less successful ministry doesn’t guarantee higher character or smaller character.

I don’t know how much this makes sense to you, but here’s the thing I really want to stress and drive home:

Ministry size/success is not an indicator of character. You can have success and have character, or have no character, the choice is up to you.

 

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