First, Biggest, Greatest…whenever a ministry is described by one of these terms I tend to take pause. Not because I don’t want kingdom ministries to be great. I do. Desperately. But what defines greatness in the kingdom is oftentimes far different from what people, even in the church, think of as great. Often people use superlatives because they desire for “their thing” to be great. They want to be distinguished above others. Unfortunately this is not a kingdom value. And the truth is there is not a kingdom ministry in the earth that is owned by it’s human leader. Everything in the kingdom is owned by God and as such it is His thing, not ours. Since He is the owner He gets to decide which ministries He wants to increase and which ones He wants to decrease. It’s His call, not ours. We’ve got to come to grips with the fact that in the kingdom, there are God-designed increases and God-designed decreases. Just consider John the Baptist, “He must increase, I MUST decrease.”
I’m troubled by how often “Biggest, First, and Greatest” is emphasized in the church world, while values like meekness, perseverance and faithfulness are neglected. I’m convinced that when we stand before the Lord at the “great review” we will be shocked to find out that so many of the things we have valued, God has not. And much of what He has valued we have not. I’m impressed not with the splash a ministry makes or with how fast it grows. I’m interested in the fruit that ministry has produced in the lives of it’s followers over the long haul. For instance, if a ministry doesn’t produce love, faithfulness and meekness in it’s followers over time, what is it reproducing?
Faithfulness is an essential kingdom value and a major key to success in the kingdom. Notice I did not say growth, I said success. The two are not necessarily the same. I’m reminded of those who served alongside Moses. Some were given responsibility over tens, others over hundreds. Are we to imagine that those who had responsibility over ten and served faithfully were not as successful as those who had responsibility over a hundred? Absolutely not. Faithfulness is the issue not ministry sphere. So often young leaders want to be the next ministry “Rock Star.” Kindly…Just don’t. In the kingdom, Faithfulness is valued above flashiness ten times out of ten. Be faithful to follow the Lord’s direction and leave the results up to Him.
Faithfulness, over the long haul, is perhaps the most underrated and one of the least witnessed ministry traits. Its incredibly rare to see a leader who has stood the test of time for generations. Because its so rare, its absolutely radical. Imagine what long term faithfulness looks like from heaven’s perspective. How does God assess a lifetime of faithful obedience? No wonder the accolade He offers is, “Well done, you good and faithful servant.”
I want to live this kind of radical lifestyle. My prayer is not to be the First, Biggest, or Greatest, but to be faithful to the end, loving Him well forever. Oh to hear His words, “Well done, Billy, you’re a good and faithful servant!” There can be no greater pleasure than to live your life in a way that is answered with that affirmation.
My admonition to you, especially young leaders, is don’t strive to be the greatest before men; live your life in a way that is radical in faithfulness before God. Serve God wholeheartedly and leave the results to Him. Go for it over the long haul and live your life for that single phrase, “Well done my faithful one, well done.”