Tag Archive for bloom where you are planted

Ministry by Numbers

I spent 34 years working for a major church music publisher, with most of that time spent in management in one form or another. Numbers were an integral part of my job. We constantly measured our ministry by numbers—sales, profits, overhead, budgets, projections, etc., etc.

I carried that mindset over into my personal ministries and was concerned when the numbers just wouldn’t come. After all, isn’t “numbers” one of the reasons we writers want to get published? Publication helps us reach more people with the message, right?

But several years ago, after failing yet again to connect with a book publisher, the Lord clearly told me, “Focus on the people I have already entrusted to you.” I was teaching a Sunday School class at the time (I still am)—15 to 20 mostly-older adults. So I started a weekly email to them which included a devotional reading that led into a recording of one of my hymns. The email was called, IMAGES OF CHRIST in Word & Song. In surveying what people God had already entrusted to me, I sent the email to family and friends as well. That weekly email ran for over four years before becoming this blog.

Still, much of my creative work starts with my modest-sized Sunday School class. I not only provide them with weekly Bible lessons but with a hymn, a devotional piece, and daily scriptural readings, all interwoven with our Sunday lesson. Sure, I’d love to see the material reach beyond them, and I follow the Lord’s leading in that regard.

But God has been weaning me off the numbers game as a measure for His ministry. Remember, He created the universe from a word. He doesn’t need more “stuff”. He can make more of that anytime He chooses. What He prizes are not quantities but love and trust. That’s what I focus on giving Him.

Whom has the Lord already entrusted to you? Focus your ministry on them.