What Does True Success Look Like?  Four Questions To Ask 

Have you ever considered that many of the leaders in the Bible would NOT be considered successful in most leadership and church circles today? Just read the stories of Jeremiah, Amos, John the Baptist, and even Jesus. 

However, God approved of their ministries. It’s a reminder that while attendance may be increasing, buildings are being built, more people are serving; we can still be failing in God’s economy. 

True success is doing what God has asked us to, in His way, on His timetable, and by His standard.

Ask yourself these questions:

What is it that God has asked us to do?  

Simply – He has asked (actually commanded) us to share His story.  Psalm 105:1 says, “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done,” and in Matthew 28, Jesus tells his disciples to, “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).  The one command is to proclaim the Lord and make disciples, a charge that is given to all Christians.  There is no greater mission than to evangelize His world and establish His church.  

What is His way?  

God’s way seems to be using unlikely people to accomplish his purposes and unleashing ordinary people to multiply disciples. There are numerous examples in Scripture (i.e., Israel choosing King Saul because of his physical appearance) where the people of God choose their way, and the results are disastrous. God moves in a different manner than this. Spend some time reading the book of Acts to see the way God multiplied the early church. Spend some time reading about movements that are happening around the world. The unlikely and the ordinary are being used to proclaim the Lord and make disciples.

What is His timetable?

Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”  We often have no shortage of plans and presume upon God to bless our plans in our timetable.  There are things we cannot control like the salvation of souls, the return of the Lord Jesus, and the multiplication of churches and disciples.  Instead of expectations of the Lord’s moving according to our plans, we should rather humble ourselves to His timetable. One that allows the unlikely and the ordinary are being used to proclaim the Lord and make disciples.

What is His standard?  

God’s standard is actually perfection, but no one is perfect because of our rebellion against Him.  But God has made a way for all people to be made right with Him because of the Cross. The gospel is the only standard. It has the power to save and allows those unlikely and ordinary saved individuals are being used to proclaim the Lord and make disciples. 

Resources on Church Planting and Disciple Making Movements:

Church Planting Movements:  How God is Redeeming a Lost World(2004) by David Garrison

The Kingdom Unleashed: How Jesus’ 1st Century Kingdom Values Are Transforming Thousands of Cultures and Awakening His Church(2018) by Jerry Trousdale & Glenn Sunshine w/ Gregory C. Bendit

Movements:  www.movements.net

E3 Partners:  www.e3partners.org

CCP:  www.ccp.international

Authored by Justin Roper, Pastor at Charlotte Awake