Apparently I’m a Type A, results-oriented personality.
The personality test at the beginning of my internship made this very clear. However, this truth took me by surprise. I’ve always seen myself as a laid-back, go-with-the-flow kind of guy. Now, in my initial assessment, I was being warned against being too hard-driving and harsh with students. Not sure how to take this warning, I tucked it away in my brain under the “To Be Remembered” label.
Four months in to my initial foray into campus ministry I have done well to remember this warning. I do have to fight the tendency to resist being a taskmaster. I do have to remind myself that sometimes things just won’t get done and that’s ok. I do have to remind myself that others don’t always approach issues or problems like I would and remind myself to thank God for that fact.
The most difficult aspect of my type A, driven personality to reign in is my desire for results. I want to be able to look at my time here and give evidence that my ministry has been fruitful. I want to point to the number of meetings I had in a week, the number of times I shared the Gospel with someone, and the number of times someone first believed the Gospel as validation of my ministry.
The Lord has had to continually remind me that my success is not necessarily found in my ministry’s fruit. For a results driven, type-A personality this is a hard pill to swallow. Fruit proves that I have done things correctly. Fruit proves that I have devoted my time to the correct things. And, perhaps most importantly, fruit is a measurable metric to demonstrate that I am not failing.
My success in my ministry is not determined by my ministry’s fruit. My success in ministry is determined by my day-to-day faithfulness to my calling to make much of Jesus to those whom God brings in my path. I may plant, someone else may water, someone else may see the fruit, but I have played my role when I have been faithful to Christ today, in this particular situation.
If the Lord chooses to bless my faithfulness with fruit, praise God! If the Lord chooses to bless someone else’s ministry with fruit that originated or was carried on by my faithfulness, praise God! He has promised that He will grow His church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against His kingdom.
He has made no such promises for me or mine.