Recently I've been reading R. Kent Hughes essential book, Liberating Ministry From The Success Syndrome. To say that this book is essential reading for all pastors in the United States is an understatement. This last weekend I had a chance to hear him speak and give an overview lecture on the chapters of his book. As he spoke on the seven marks of successful ministry I jotted down some questions for each one that help me diagnose where I'm at in each area. They've helped illuminate some areas of work and maybe will help you in assessing your ministry "success."
1. Ministry Success is Faithfulness
- Am I being fully obedient to the clear revelation of God's Word?
- Am I doing ministry in the Biblical manner, not just the expedient manner?
- Does my life commend the gospel, not confuse it?
2. Ministry Success is Service
- Am I humbling myself to serve others?
- Am I using the church to prop myself up or to point others to Jesus?
- Are there any areas of service that are "below" me?
3. Ministry Success is Love for God
- Do I have increasing joy and delight in Christ?
- Are my affections for God growing or diminishing?
- Is ministry the god I worship?
4. Ministry Success is Faith
- Am I keeping close watch on my doctrine?
- Do I really believe what I say I believe?
- Am I daily being dependent on God, his provision, and direction for me?
5. Ministry Success is Prayer
- Have I devoted myself to prayer?
- Do I use prayer as a manipulative device or a means of grace?
- Am I frequent and fervent in communing with God?
6. Ministry Success is Holiness
- Am I walking in moral purity?
- Am I keeping close watch on myself?
- Am I biblically qualified as an elder?
7. Ministry Success is Attitude
- Are my eyes fixed on the hope of my salvation?
- Do I see "this light and momentary suffering" as light and momentary?
- Is my hope Christ or my ministry success?
Here's Dr. Hughes message on the book from the Desiring God Pastors Conference in 2013.