A successful man is one who can lay
a firm foundation with the bricks
others have thrown at him.
~ David Brinkley ~
I was sitting in church this morning listening to a sermon on “The Successful Church,” and as I was listening, I couldn’t help thinking, “This applies to so many areas of my life, in particular the ministry of writing.”
The other day I had a question from a reader, a fellow blogger who asked, “Should I be discouraged that my blog doesn’t seem to be growing?”
The truth is that so many bloggers feel this discouragement time and again, as do so many writers. People in general get to feeling this way when we look to the side rather than focus on the one goal ahead. How can we possibly measure up to the success that we see all around us?
Today I’m going to talk about writing and blogging in particular, but I pray that these points may also relate to other areas of your life, whether it be in your ministry, your work place, or your friendships.
How does one define a successful blog? How does one define themselves as a successful writer? Well, when we look at success, we know what it is, and what it is not.
What it is not:
- Agreement – As I often say, majority doesn’t rule, and popularity doesn’t hold a deciding vote. There will always be readers that disagree with you ESPECIALLY if you are speaking the truth according to scripture. All we have to do is take one look at Jesus to see that He went to the cross alone. Even his own disciple denied Him in the hours before His death.
“For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, A daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” ~ Matthew 10:35&36
- Numbers – If you’re a blogger, chances are that you look at your stats from time to time, but low numbers don’t mean that your blog is unsuccessful or that your message isn’t worth getting out there. I grew up in a church that had a congregation of 30-40 people, and that little church had a greater impact on my life than anything else ever has.
Write to touch the one heart out there that is thirsting for your message. If you can be instrumental in bringing one life closer to truth, then you are being used of God. How much more successful can you possibly be?
- Imitation – Imitation is dilution. God created us uniquely and has also gifted each one of us differently. We all see those bloggers who seem to be doing everything right, but why should we imitate them?
Don’t you know that you are every bit as likeable and have just as much potential to minister as they do? Minister in the style that you feel led, and allow God to move in HIS timing.
“‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” ~ Zechariah 4:6
- Approval – Seek the approval of God and Him alone. It’s so important that we set our compass by the standards of the Bible and follow it regardless of the popular mindset in our society.
Applause does not measure success, unless it resounds from the hands of our Lord.
That is what successful ministry is NOT. Now let’s look at what success IS:
- Achieving Results – Do you see the fruit of your labor? Are lives being changed? Is your life being changed?
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” ~ James 2:20, KJV
- Using Resources Appropriately – Are you using your resources properly? This would include the time that you spend blogging, writing, ministering… Do you have a balance that is pleasing God?
What resources are you using in your ministry? The Bible, guidance from the Holy Spirit? Successful ministry will tap into both.
- Following standards – Do you follow the parameters laid out in scripture? We have standards for fellowship, parenting, marriage, ministry, etc. all laid out in scripture. A successful blogger will follow those standards when sharing the gospel.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a successful blog, ministry or writing career, but real success rarely comes without pain and perseverance.
I’ve seen this in my own writing career as well as through my ministry. We all face some level of rejection, but we can’t let that stop us from doing the work that God has called us to do.
We press on in spite of the numbers, the lack of approval from others, the discouraging thoughts, and popular opinion. We press on with one goal in mind–to honor the Father through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
That’s where true success lies.
Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.
~ Proverbs 16:3, NIV
You are loved by an almighty God,
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