Challenges to Measuring Ministry Success

A great quote although you may have to read it a few times through to get it:

Symptoms of success are also frequently mistaken. They are at best but doubtful signs – if our people crowd to hear the word – if they love our persons – admire our discourses – and are brought to a general confession of sinfulness, or to a temporary interest in our message. Nor must we on the other hand too hastily conclude upon their apparent want of diligence in the means of grace, or of interest in our parochial system. Family hindrances or outward crosses may restrain the improvement of Christian privileges. The want of tact, the influence of retired habits, or the necessary demands of the domestic sphere, may impede communications with our plans; so that often “the kingdom of God,” may be established with real “power,” yet with little of outward “observation.” The complaint of inefficiency may therefore sometimes be unwarranted, as the disappointment of a too sanguine mind; as the failure of efforts, calculated upon in our own wisdom, and attempted in our own strength; or the blast of expectations, indulged without due consideration of a Scriptural basis, or of individual or local difficulties.

– Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry, p. 74.

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