Rethinking Success

What happens when God doesn't share your definition of ministry success?

I once heard Andy Stanley say that he loves hiring preachers' kids. Here's one reason: the old-but-true cliché that "truths are caught, not taught."

I grew up in a double-barrel ministry family, my grandpa and dad both serving as senior pastors. Combined, their legacy includes multiple congregations served and thousands of lives touched. But they are men from a different time. They would never use the word "success" to describe themselves—or even accept it being thrust upon them.

When I think of my grandpa, I picture his open Bible on the checkered tablecloth at the summer cottage. His long legs crossed comfortably while he poured God's Word into his thirsty soul. At meals he would have all of us—grandparents, parents, cousins—recite Psalm 1 together, complete with hand actions.

He was a tall man. I can still see his lanky pointer and middle fingers walking like two legs up his outstretched forearm as he recited, "Blessed ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Pastoring the One When You’d Rather Pastor the Ninety-Nine
Pastoring the One When You’d Rather Pastor the Ninety-Nine
Personal attention is a minister’s inefficient imperative.
From the Magazine
Paul’s Word to Police: Protect the Weak
Paul’s Word to Police: Protect the Weak
As black Christians have long understood, the New Testament has a strong theology of law enforcement.
Editor's Pick
I Was a Pastor’s Wife. Suicide Made Me a Pastor’s Widow.
I Was a Pastor’s Wife. Suicide Made Me a Pastor’s Widow.
What I learned about mental health and ministry following my husband’s tragic death.
close