A long while back I read this stat and although I don’t know that the numbers are accurate, I do think it is pretty interesting:
100 young people walk an isle at mission conference, only 6 go to Bible college, 4 graduate and go to the field, and only one goes back for the second term!
Wow! Think about that, only a few really finish what they start. The truth is that we can apply this to any area of life… very few people finish what they start. When I was in Argentina, there were crazy amounts of people that would enter in the local university as lawyers (or accountants, medical, etc.) and the second year the number would be less than half, third year it would be fewer and those that graduated many times were just a handful of those who started. Probably all of us could mention examples of how people quit and don’t follow through, but the sad thing is that this same mindset is happening in the ministry just as much as it is in the secular world. We must enter this subject taking the wise counsel given to us by God in I Corinthians 10:12 – “let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”. We should be very careful before looking at other situations with a judgmental attitude, but we can be wise and try to learn some things, we can try to strive with all our might to finish what we start. Remember that serving God will almost guarantee the devil’s attacks, so we might want to set our hearts and minds on finishing what we start. Here are a few ideas that may help all of us to continue on and not quit.
1. Remember who it is that called you and put you where you are
If I am serving where I am serving out of my own strength, I probably will quit, but if I am convinced that God put me where I am, I can run back to that truth as often as I need to (which is quite often when going thru bad days, criticism, doubts, etc.).
2. There is a Cause
Whether the goal is to get the people saved, build the church, prepare the workers, raise the money to get there, or whatever it may be to you personally, there really is a cause and something worth the finishing of what you are doing. Sometimes re-visiting the real purpose of why you are doing what you are doing will be a encouragement and reason to keep going.
3. Others have Invested in you
Parents, pastors, friends, mentors, … there are a lot of people who have helped you get to where you are. All of us can mention names and tell stories of how we have been helped and how others have greatly invested in our lives. Finish what was started to honor and show appreciation to those many whom God has placed in your life, to those who have helped you be where you currently are.
4. There really are rewards
There is nothing, in my opinion, compared to seeing someone serve the Lord that you have helped personally. As Paul said in I Thessalonians 2:19-20, those who he won to the Lord and saw growing in Him are his hope, joy, crown and glory.
There is a sense of satisfaction when we accomplish something – when the church is started, when we finish deputation, when we see someone saved, when we see God call a man to preach, etc. Finish the job friend, because there are both earthly and heavenly rewards.
Here to Serve,
General Director of Vision Baptist Missions