When attending most church growth or pastors' conferences, much time is spent asking, "How big is your church?" We've already covered the Apostle Paul's charge to the Church at Corinth to be cautious about comparing. Paul continues this similar line of thought in II Corinthians 10: 13 & 14, saying,
12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: 15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labors; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, 16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. 17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
So, not only should we be careful about comparing ministries and churches, but Paul reinforces this philosophy with the following caution: "...do not boast (brag or speak excessively) about things that are without (or outside) of your measure (sphere of rule or influence), but boast (brag or speak excessively) about what and who God has measured to you."
This ministry philosophy is somewhat foreign to much of today's church leadership. The church at Corinth was encouraged to stay focused on the things that the Lord had specifically assigned to them. The old saying "The grass is greener on the other side of the fence" is seldom true, especially in ministry. The grass is greener where the Lord has planted us, because that's the assignment He measured to us. Even though there are many opportunities to give into discouragement in ministry, we must not lose focus and look for fulfillment in another (supposedly greener) pastures measured to other ministries and churches.
The measurement or metron of ministry distributed to us is God's choice. If we believe He is sovereign and trustworthy, we can find contentment and fulfillment in the field of labor He has given us. God knows what best suits us. Daydreaming about the possible success others are having is a complete waste of time and completely undermining, to say the least.
I encourage you today to "bloom where you are planted" and, in doing so, find joy, contentment and fulfillment where God has placed you. Increase will eventually come to you, as we display faithfulness to the field of labor where we are. Loosing focus by daydreaming about the field of labor where others are may delay increase and reveal infidelity in our hearts toward the assignment God has given us. Selah!
Posted on Thu, March 3, 2011
by Bill Faught, Jr. filed under