What's a Significant Ministry?

Our national conference had been an enjoyable time with fellow pastors and missionaries. Denominational leaders warmly welcomed us.

Then it happened. An official told us about someone beginning a new ministry, who was leaving a "significant" work. We knew exactly what he meant: that pastor had left a large church. Suddenly the encouragement of the conference turned into a gut-churning moment.

Why did that innocuous statement bother me so? Was it jealousy, envy, or insecurity? Or did it strike a deep chord because I was already wondering if my ministry, much smaller and in windy Wyoming, was really significant?

Whatever the cause, it forced me to wrestle with the powerful word "significant."

If I left my present pastorate, would anyone say I was leaving a "significant" work? Would God?

Amid these stormy questions came a gentle breeze of perspective. At that meeting another leader was introduced: Dr. Bingham Hunter of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. What he shared has stuck with me like ...

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