Five Minute Friday: Success

Gentle Reader,

It’s been almost a month since I’ve published anything.


I’ve been writing – discussion posts, reading reflections, a presentation, lengthy journal entries – but have missed this place and our little community. “Real life” relationships matter, we need to be able to hug and see people, but there’s something special about the way God weaves lives together across the ether.

Kate says: success.


I had to take a ministry skills assessment for one of my seminary classes. To no one’s surprise, I know nothing about leading or organizing music for a worship service. Some people tell me I can sing, but those people are liars; I do not have a musical bone in my body. While I care about theological accuracy in songs, I’m quite content to leave the guitar strumming to the talented ones. A pastor doesn’t have to do everything. That’s kinda the point of each of us doing what God created and gifted us to do.

To my great surprise, I discovered that my greatest strength is in pastoral care. Listening to people. Praying for and with them. Being present in their lives. As introverted and easily drained of energy as I am, I thought that this would surely be far down on the list. I guess none of us ever quite sees ourselves clearly.

So when I think of success, I think in terms of ministry, and for me, that means being faithful to preach the Gospel and to love others. That’s it. I am not a success if I pack out a huge auditorium with eager listeners. I am not a success if people are willing to open their wallets. I am not a success if I get a book deal, develop a following, appear on a podcast, or show up on television. Success is found only in the hidden faithfulness, the daily grind of showing up and speaking truth, whether in word or in action.

Success lies in serving Christ wholeheartedly.



14 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Success

  1. I used to feel that my life’s measure
    would be a Christian yoke to carry,
    forsaking earthly gain and treasure;
    but now I want a red Ferrari.
    It’s not that I’ve abandoned Christ;
    far the opposite, He’s a mate.
    But at this point I’ve much sacrificed
    to church community and to state.
    So it’s time to burn some fuel,
    leave carbon footprint, just for fun,
    drive it like some Sixties fool
    lookin’ out for Number One.
    So hammer down and smoke the tires
    like Amazonian forest fires.


  2. I couldn’t agree more, Marie! Success lies in serving Christ wholeheartedly, and I might add, serving where He leads! I’m thrilled that you are pursuing seminary and my love and prayers are with you often – Godspeed on the journey He has laid out! I love you!


  3. This: “Success lies in serving Christ wholeheartedly.” Thank you for this post as it is the same thought which came to me this morning as I wrote. May we be faithful in serving Him wholeheartedly for all of our days!


  4. I hadn’t heard that you’re studying ministry! So awesome! I love God’s little surprises…ok, most of the time…like telling us we’re gifted in something we had no idea we would be gifted in. I took a test once to find out what my spiritual gifts were…and ‘change’ ranked the highest (as in I like to advocate for change). Churches are pretty complacent places with their hierarchies entrenched, so I often feel like I’m beating my head against the wall and dragging my spiritual gift around behind me.


  5. Lean into your strengths! Luckily, the Church is a Body with many members so we (not even the pastor) don’t need to do it all. I choose the music as well for its theological message so its consistent with the message of the service, but I leave it to those who are lavishly gifted in music to make it come to life. Good luck in your studies. FMF28


  6. “Success is found only in the hidden faithfulness, the daily grind of showing up and speaking truth, whether in word or in action.” YES! YES! YES! Love this little post. So glad I stopped by.


  7. Thankful to see you here again, Marie. Thank you for this truth, “Success is found only in the hidden faithfulness, the daily grind of showing up and speaking truth, whether in word or in action. Success lies in serving Christ wholeheartedly.” Blessings.


  8. So happy to read your wise words again! Thank you for the reminder that success is being faithful! It’s easy to lose sight of that in our get ahead world. Keep preaching to us!



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