Like most of us I must admit I was once privately enamored with the idea of success. I am not talking about success as the world gives but I would slot my definition as “biblical success.” Even though that was my definition it certainly does not mean the motive was right.
Of course like most Christians I reasoned as to what real success looked like for me. Probably something like several thousand members in my church, a thriving CD & DVD ministry, some trans-local travel, a National spot on TBN, and an above average middle class social rating. Sounds real good and many would say, why not?
Well of course the questions is; is this biblical success? And of course the answer is no.
My intention is not to define biblical success because it will vacillate from one person to another.
However, my intention is to share my success to significance transformation.
My first challenge was to realize that God had called me to be a success in ministry but not in the way I had it defined. My success was to be faithful to Him and to the people He had called me to Pastor. My success was never in numbers but a number. My number was to be faithful to the 1. Each one. One at a time.
It was not because my church was small. Even though 700 is not large it is significant and it is considered a large congregation in our town of 75,000. Even though this was a nice accomplishment I had to face reality that I was not designed or intended to hit the national scene with my awesome sermons.
Success Can be About Me
Many Christians hide their desire for success and others feel like it’s just evil to want more. I do not feel that way. I do believe that success was more about me than about God. In other words success can be laced in wrong desire, wrong motive, and me focused and I am not saying that all success is ungodly or wrong.
Misguided success is often self-focused but significance focuses on others.
The way I approached my day a few years ago was more me focused because I was looking for success when actually I already had it. I learned the filter establishes my daily approach. In my desire for success my daily prayers were often self consumed and centered on me. I was seeking God for open doors and for favor that brought the right people into my life. My daily activity included improving myself, self discovery, and working hard to gain the attention of the right people.
In the last few years God has opened my eyes to what is most important and that is not because I do not have any success. I have experienced so many great opportunities that a major percentage of Pastors would be envious. Our ministry is debt free and owns over 3 million in property and another million in assets. We have planted 3 churches with another plant coming in 2017. So we have success on many fronts and a variety of levels.
But the Lord has shifted my thoughts from success to significance. For me, significance means a major shift in the approach of ministry and the preparation for the day. I am now ready to give myself away on many levels.
The levels include:
The mentoring level is more about relationship than activity or style. In simple terms it can be topic focused or just hanging out together and doing life. This level is more caught than taught so it is very personal and relationship driven.
This is about inspiring others and can include everything from prayer to conversation. The end result is that the person you are with is empowered to do life with greater passion and solutions.
Imparting to others is about catching the heart and spirit of the mentor. This is not about behavior, it is about learning how the mentor thinks and being able to apply that thinking to every situation.
Now it’s your turn.
What does significance look like to you?