In church and ministry presentations, results are often shared as evidence of the impact someone has made or the success of a program. Results such as completing a building or reaching thousands for Christ inspire others to dream big, but they don’t show someone how to live. Dreams, after all, are built through lives that are lived out in the battlefield of an imperfect world with imperfect people.
When we focus only on the results, we undervalue the process and discourage people from simply getting started, taking one step at a time. The Bible tells us in John 4:37–38, “One sows and another reaps . . . I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor." So perhaps it’s true that no sacrifice in ministry is wasted. Though we may not see the fruit of our labor, someone else may have the chance to reap the blessings of the seeds we sow.
Anita Carman is the Founder and President of Inspire Women. She is also the author of A Daughter’s Destiny: Finding Redemption in the Midst of Broken Dreams.