Many of have love affairs with “success” which is why we can so easily fall susceptible to a spiral of insecurity.
If we’re honest – no matter who we are and whatever discipline of work we’re involved with – we have some perception of success.
That in itself isn’t bad but what if our perception of success becomes like a love affair; an obsession of value and self-worth? Check video below (for RSS feeds).
Pastors and leaders aren’t impervious to such pursuits of “success.” In fact, maybe we are more susceptible. And in these days of constant bombardment of various forms of new media, it’s easy to compare ourselves to others – other leaders, churches, ministries, non-profits, etc.
I am no different.
I’d like to think that as I turn 41 soon and coming upon 20 years in ministry, I would have outgrown such shallow comparisons but it’s still an ongoing struggle.
When we’re immature
…when our rootedness is not in the Gospel of Christ, then it leads us into dangerous and lonely places – where we find ourselves constantly comparing or seeking the approval and affirmation of others or via:
- # of followers, readers, etc.
If you look carefully or to be honest, if you just look, there are always some sort of lists and compilations of “the most influential” or “the fastest growing” or “the largest” or “the baddest” or “the whatever”…
Trust me. I’ve made couple lists for stuff that I have no idea how they come up with such lists. I occasionally travel to speak at conferences. But when our sense of calling and security is guided by such things, they will never satisfy you. It’s never enough. Never.
You want more…
because your soul is satisfied by lists, praise, adoration, and ultimately, a worldly sense of success.
Hear this well:
You don’t have to be “the most influential” in the nation. Just seek to be the most influential and loving pastor and leader to the church you’re called to. That will not likely get you on any special lists but you’ll serve your people well. You’ll be faithful to your flock and calling.
Metrics have their place. But don’t get lorded over by numbers and metrics. Numbers don’t guide us. Rather, the Holy Spirit is our guide. Be faithful. Be obedient. And it’s very possible that when we seek a life of faithfulness and obedience, it doesn’t always translate into worldly metrics of success.
I think Mother Theresa said it so well:
“God does not call us to be successful, but God calls us to be faithful.”
Can I get an amen?
Here’s a quick video I filmed for last year’s The Nines online conference. It never aired so I’m sharing it here exactly about the topic of ‘redefining success.”