Your ministry matters to God. You matter to God.
Pastor, I don't know what you're dealing with at your church today. I don't know what challenges you see over the horizon, but I know you have a significant ministry. God has a purpose for you at the church where you serve.
You are not at your church by accident. A thousand years before you were born, God moved history to get you to this point at your church. You may look around and not see the impact you want to see. But that's not how God sees your work.
When you get to heaven, God won't ask you, "Why didn't you become more like the megachurch pastor down the street?" Instead, he'll ask you, "Why weren't you more like you?"
You are the person God called to the church where you are. God could have called tens of thousands of other pastors, but he called you.
God made you to be unique. He made your ministry unique, too.
God has called you to be the best pastor that he made you to be, given the gifts, talents, abilities and opportunities that are unique to your situation. When you realize just how unique your ministry is, it'll free you from the trap of comparison—and the fear of failure. Because every church and every pastor are unique, there is no reason to compare yourself to anyone else.
You can't correlate the size and the strength of your church. They have nothing to do with each other. Your church can be big and weak or small and strong. It's more important for your church to be healthy than big. You can't measure your leadership by how fast or how large your church grows.
It doesn't matter if you serve in a small church. It doesn't matter if you never get your picture on the cover of a magazine or get interviewed by a newspaper or TV station. It doesn't matter if you don't get invited to preach at your denomination's conference for pastors.
Guess what? Your ministry matters to God. God made you. He knows everything about you. He put you in the ministry you're in. And if God put you there, you'd better stay in that ministry until God tells you to move.
Prominence is not the same thing as significance. Our culture doesn't understand this. Today, in a world of celebrities and superstars, we assume that the most famous people—or the most visible churches—are the most important.
This simply isn't true. And this attitude hurts far too many ministries.
My nose is a highly prominent part of my body. You can't look at my face without seeing my nose. My nose may be prominent, but it's not significant. I have other body parts that I couldn't live without. I could live without a nose, but I couldn't live without my heart or kidneys or liver.
Don't worry about whether anyone knows what you're doing. God knows what you're doing. Live for him, your audience of one.
You may never fully know how much your ministry matters to God, but realize this—it matters to your community and to what God is doing in the world. The global body of Christ needs you to finish well. Too many pastors crash before their time is up.
Our churches have too much to do to let pastors continue to fall away. We need you.
When your life is done, we need you to be able to say, like Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful" (2 Tim. 4:7, NLT).
Your faithfulness today will make an eternal difference.
Pastor, I want you to know I'm cheering for you. I'm believing God for what he can do through your ministry.
You can do this.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church, one of America's largest and most influential churches. He is the author of the New York Times' bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. Pastor Rick started The PEACE Plan to show the local church how God works through ordinary people to address the five global giants of spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, disease, and illiteracy. You can listen to "Daily Hope," Pastor Rick's daily 25-minute audio teaching, or sign up for his free daily devotionals at PastorRick.com. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global online community created to encourage pastors.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
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