God has been teaching me not to measure my ministry by numbers. I find His perfect example of that in Jesus.
Read the gospel of John, and focus on what Jesus says about His relationship with His Father. You’ll be fascinated.
His only goal, His only ambition was to follow the Father.
“I do not seek my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 5:30, NASB)
His food, His joy, His constant purpose was to please the Father.
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”
“He who sent Me has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” (John 4:34; 8:29, NASB)
His only resource, His only wisdom, strength, and adequacy was the Father. He simply said what the Father told Him to say and did what the Father showed Him to do. Nothing else. Nothing more, and nothing less.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son does in like manner.”
“I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.”
“The word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 5:19; 8:28; 14:24, NASB)
As I read the gospels, I get the impression that of all the thousands that crowded around Jesus and witnessed His miracles, relatively few believed to the point of obedience. He never seemed concerned about numerical results. He measured His ministry only by obedience to the Father.
The Father is calling me to minister as Jesus did: to seek always and only to obey and please and rely completely on Him. For in the end, our fruitfulness depends entirely on our connection to Christ:
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NASB)