Having served in pastoral ministry for about 30 years now, I have often asked myself the question, "What does a successful pastor look like? Where do I even begin looking? At the size of the church? At the church budget? At the degrees that have been earned? At the salary achieved?" As you may have guessed, none of these is adequate. I have discovered a better means of evaluation – better, because it is biblical.
1Thessalonians 2:19,20 "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing ? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming / For you are our glory and joy."
Colossians 1:28,29 "…that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily."
It is God’s intention for pastors and churches that we measure success by the quality of the product we produce. What is it we produce? People, or more specifically, deciples of Jesus Christ. And, the Scriptures even tell us what true disciples of Christ should look like:
"so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own Kingdom and glory. Fo this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the Word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe." 1 Thessalonians 2:12,13
When God measure a church for success, and when He evaluates the work of a pastor, He looks for 1) people who walk worthy of God and 2) people who welcome the teaching and exhortation of the Word of God. Let this be our ambition. Be one of those who readily receives the Word, and let it perform its work in you. Your church will be the better for it… and, pastor friends, be reminded that God still works through the faithful proclamation of His Word.