Just thinking: Success on Earth….who defines it?
Matt. 25: 21 – “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master!”
One of the (natural) gifts, God blessed me with is strategic planning, looking at data and turning it into actionable plan with timeline. I’ve been blessed to use this gift on boards and in my own home as the leader.
When defining Vision and Mission, one would almost have to determine what success is. As a Dad of three kids, I can tell you that my vision and mission for each child in helping them be who and want God wants is different. As a board member, my expectation for one project is different from another. Basically, when we human get to determine vision and mission, we also determine what success mean for that project.
Human journey on earth is however different, our mission and purpose is determined by the One who sent us, who already said, before you were born, I not only know you I have already determined your assignment on earth. So, it is God alone that determines what success means for our journey on earth.
What He (God) calls us to is Faithfulness and Obedience DAILY. When we start to follow a homogenous formula for success, or figure out what success is, we are likely to miss it. There are so many people in the Bible that based on current cultural (church and the world) definition of “Success”, they would not be seen as successful – Jeremiah and John the Baptist are good examples.
If success is a big congregation or worldwide ministry or wealth as in huge homes and cars or fame, then the young Doctor (and his family) serving in the mountains of west Nepal (I know him) or another couple I know (both American and both Physician) getting ready to go serve in the DR, instead of making money as doctors – would be defined as unsuccessful.
The local pastor that has started many churches by riding his bicycles around in the villages of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania wearing suits that does not match would be seen as unsuccessful. There is nothing wrong in having huge congregation or having a worldwide ministry – if that is your calling/purpose, perhaps you are even limiting God by wanting to do it on your own?
Since God is the one who sent us here, He alone determines what Success on Earth means for each of us, because we have been gifted and graced in different measures. Paul’s assignment is different from Stephen’s, Peter’s assignment is different from John’s (all based on their gifts and grace).
Once we determine what our assignment is, each one of us is to be Faithful and Obedient in following God’s word and the leading of His Spirit daily. He will lead us to that expected end (not the homogenous formula being sold in our generation).