How do you know when a minister has great value? Or, if you serve as a minister of a congregation you may wonder how much value you really have. Perhaps there are times when you when you feel as if you have great value. What factors have led you to come to that conclusion? Perhaps there are other times when you feel alone, inadequate, and have little value as a minister.
Some believe that ministers have great value if one or more of the following factors are true:
1. People are asking this person to speak at their congregations or at particular lectureships, seminars, etc.
2. Congregations that are visible within our fellowship are asking this person to consider joining their ministry staff.
3. A particular minister has a much larger salary compared to other ministers who serve in the same role.
4. Many in social media quote this person and seem to rally around whatever this minister might say or do.
5. A minister may be well known throughout a region or even the nation and perhaps have a “following.” This may be evident either through conversations at particular gatherings or conversation through social media.
6. A minister who has served a smaller congregation begins preaching for a congregation that is highly visible. Suddenly that minister may be perceived to be “important.”
What does a person do who serves in a ministry where none of the above is true?
How do ministers respond when they believe they have little value compared to other ministers?
Some become critics. They constantly critique and criticize those who are more visible and who seem to have a larger platform of influence. Others spend much energy talking about how those things don’t matter anyway. (Sort of like the person who didn’t get invited to the party and deals with it by saying “I didn’t want to go to their party anyway.”) Meanwhile, others feel inadequate, alone, and conclude that their ministry and life’s work may not matter very much compared to that of others.
Ultimately, one’s validation as a Christian minister has to come from the Father. It is his “well done” that matters. It is his “well done” that validates us as human beings and Christian ministers. This validation can help us feel comfortable in our own skin. It can also help us become comfortable with our own platform of influence, whether local or national.
I hope this is helpful. The bottom line is that I believe your importance to God is not measured by the standards that we often use. Rather, God values each one of us and our ministries regardless.