Measuring a Win: Success vs. Fruit


As ministry leaders, we are often driven by the pat on the back, the attention we receive, the promotion we are offered, and the visible success taking place around us. How do you define a win within your life and ministry?

We often look at a win through the lens of success. We view numbers and goals as a way to determine whether or not we are leading successful ministries. In other words, how many students showed up to youth group this week and are you setting goals that are not only achievable, but that are bringing attention to yourself? Don’t take that the wrong way… I see considerable significance in the entire goal-setting process, but we must never miss the vision God has for our ministries. What is He leading you to do differently? What is the vision God has for your ministry?

Too often we seek man’s approval, and we miss whether or not God is approving of where our ministries are heading. Again, please don’t miss my point… We all need to be held accountable to the responsibilities God has placed before us. I need supervision in the same way those within our Family Ministry need to be supervised. We must seek wise counsel of the leaders God has placed around us when setting goals and measuring wins, but ultimately our identity must be found in a fruitful relationship with Christ.

We cannot measure success solely through numbers and programs. Instead, a ministry win must be defined through the fruit of our faithfulness to God’s calling! Where are you seeing fruit in your life? Are you remaining faithful to the life God has called you to? Are lives being changed through the fruit of your ministry?

When it comes down to it, success will happen when fruit is evident in our lives, but authentic fruit will not always be seen through our human measurements of success. The steps to success are not always the steps towards fruitfulness. In other words, numerical growth should occur if lives are bing radically changed around us, but numbers must not be the measuring stick for success. God will bless our faithfulness to His calling by utilizing us to lead successful ministries!

Here are a few practical questions to help you decipher the differences between authentic fruit and success…

– Am I being faithful to myself and those around me without being faithful to the calling God has placed on my life?

– How do I measure success within my life, family, and ministry?

– Do I spend more time praying or writing when it comes to my goal-setting process?

– Do I seek Godly counsel before setting goals?

– Am I seeking the approval of men before I seek God’s approval on my life and ministry?

– Is their evidence of fruit flowing in and through my ministry?

– Is my life worth imitating and my ministry worth replicating?

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