When people talk about their various ministries and the numbers in attendance I can get defensive. Envy and a desire to show what I am accomplishing come to light. Always comparing myself to other people, thinking they are judging me on the attendance of our youth group or the number of students I personally disciple. Don’t get me wrong, I think numbers and statistics are of some importance, they help you to measure your ministry and reevaluate when something isn’t working. They fail, however, to tell the entire story. These feelings steal away the truth of the most important fact. Students are coming to know Jesus. Jesus is calling these kids. We may just plant the seed, but God is growing them.
The most recent for me was when some kids from my student ministry went to a camp with another organization for a week. I quickly reminisced on how that particular organization helped me come to faith, strengthened my relationship with Jesus, and solidified my calling into ministry. That turned quickly into my own self-doubt and questioning of my ministry. What do I need to do to make that big of an impact? All these questions and motives that pointed back to me. My own pride and need to be in control can take over.
In ministry I believe we are always quick to hear numbers and compare ourselves to other churches and organizations. We lose sight of Jesus. Distracted by these comparisons we forget the people God has blessed us with to minister to. God has placed you in your particular ministry for a purpose, whether a congregation of 50 or 5000. Stay rooted in Jesus Christ; keep your eyes on Him. There is Kingdom work to be done that carries with it the weight of eternity. We will be judged not on how many people we personally baptized, but by our faithfulness to Jesus Christ.