Over this past weekend, we celebrated the 50th pastoral anniversary of my husband’s grandfather.
We made the trek out to a little town in Oklahoma; a little town where my husband was born and raised. And we honored a man who followed the call of God to that little town and made a big impact on the lives of so many.
A faithful man.
At the beginning of this month, Pastor LJ Harry shared a post on Facebook that got me thinking about the faithful men and women in my and my husband’s lives.
He shared about a pastor of a small church, in a small town in West Virginia, who baptized his father and officiated his parents’ wedding. At the end of his story, Pastor Harry said, I don’t know if this pastor “ever saw himself as a success in the ministry, but every life I'm allowed to touch through preaching, teaching, writing, podcasting is partly because he was willing to disciple hard-working, blue-collar families in Meadow Bridge.”
Too often, we measure success by what we can see. And what we can see usually involves numbers.
As someone who started a church in Seattle, I know how easy it is to look at the number of people sitting on the pews on a Sunday morning and let that be the deciding factor on whether or not we’re succeeding.
Some Sundays “look” like success, and others like failure.
But God is not like man. Or woman.
He sees beyond what we see in the physical realm, and He measures success on His own terms.
And when I look at the faithfulness of the men and women who have poured into my life, I believe I can see what He sees.
I see people who obeyed and stayed...
In the good times, and in the bad times.
When the church building was crowded, and when it wasn’t.
When they had clear direction, and when all they could do was put one foot in front of the other.
When they understood, and when they didn’t.
When others supported them, and when others mocked them.
I see people who were faithful.
And because of their faithfulness, I had a place to grow in my walk with God and develop the gifts that He gave me. My husband was impacted by the examples and experiences found in his home church. And while there may only be a few in number at the moment, lives are being touched and transformed in Seattle.
Faithfulness is one of the greatest indicators of success, and it has a far-reaching effect.
What the Lord accomplishes in Seattle through us is a result of the faithfulness of our pastors, parents, grandparents, the saints, beyond.
Today, I’m thankful for the faithful men and women in my life. And I strive to be counted among them as good and faithful servants of the Lord.