In an article that was previously posted on Worship Source, we discussed measuring success in your music department and the individuals in that music department. The true is, sometimes it is hard to measure success in the church. We may see a music department that isn’t large in numerical size, or doesn’t the greatest talent/ability, and we deem that ministry as unsuccessful. This most certainly is not the case. Talent level and departmental size is not the truest indicator of success in the department a person oversees. Don’t misunderstand me, we want our departments to grow and for their talents to be furthered, but if you don’t see these things, it doesn’t mean you are an unsuccessful leader. If we’re not careful, we can fall into the trap of measuring our works by the measuring stick the secular world uses. We want to see increase and we want to SEE things happen. There is a lot of things that are done in ministry and the results are never seen. At least not in the confines of our earthly understanding.
A.W. Tozer cautioned us when he wrote “Our trouble springs from the fact that we who follow Christ inhabit at once two worlds, the spiritual and the natural.” This one statement holds so much life changing truth. To be mindful of the spiritual world, while living in the natural, is something that every Christian should strive to do. It can also be said that things done in the natural world have an impact in the spiritual. What does this mean? Some successes aren’t measured by the natural world but only by a “heavenly yardstick.” With this type of measurement, we cannot put a finite number/goal as its end. This type of measurement goes into a different plain and crosses over into things that we do not see with human eyes. These things are seen when a leader is in tune with the spirit and walking in such.
Think about an action that is done today and carries impact into the infinite. Imagine that someone you scarcely know sees you from afar and what they see changes their life. A good life lived with love can change many a heart. For several months, I had been reaching out to an individual that I felt was slipping away. After some time, this person came and talked with me and about their decision to get their life back on track and return to their once flourishing spiritual life. Some time had passed after this conversation and I received a text from an acquaintance of that person. This text said that my reaching out to their friend made a lasting impact on their life. It’s not that I did anything that great, but there was success there that I wasn’t even aware of.
This same thing happens many times when preacher will deliver a sermon that seems to fall on deaf ears. Maybe the response during the altar call wasn’t what he had expected, but the word that he spoke planted a seed into someone’s heart that wouldn’t bear fruit for some time after this delivery. Maybe it happened when the Worship Leader felt that the crowd didn’t respond well to the worship set. Just because there wasn’t an immediate reaction to something, that doesn’t mean that lives weren’t affected. We have to continue each day trying to help as many people as possible and give our very best even when an immediate success isn’t promised. We have to look beyond the now mentality and think of what could be in the future.
This is what it means to have unmeasurable success. It doesn’t mean success beyond all possible measurements, but that you have succeeded in an area in which success cannot be measured. This means success in spiritual areas. When God called us into ministry, He did not call us to just be great musicians, singers, songwriters, etc. He called us to be leaders and people that would change the lives of others. This thought extends beyond the confines of music ministry and bleeds into every other ministry in the church. Some things we do will never be applauded or even recognized by the human eye, but they carry with them a spiritual significance that supersedes the natural.
With this in mind, don’t be discouraged by a lack of natural growth or successes. Galatians 6:9 tells us “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Reaping the harvest doesn’t always mean gain by natural definitions or in the timeframe we desire, but by spiritual definitions and God’s timing. Reaping a spiritual harvest may mean that you impacted one individual and caused them to continue coming to church. Reaping a spiritual harvest may mean that you are helping to develop fantastic leaders that will go on to help your church and department grow. Although reaping this harvest doesn’t provide the fastest realization, it does provide the most gratifying. Be encouraged and continue ministering to people even though instant gratification, or natural gratification isn’t guaranteed. Be a servant for the kingdom of God and you will not regret it. God will bless you in more ways than you can count.
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