Here's a word that will minister great peace to some. On the phone the other day, a dear minister friend of mine, older than I am with 40-plus years of ministry experience, said this: "The Lord called my wife and me to influence the two or three."
I believe he meant geographical places or cities. I have not been able to shake that word.
We've all been given different measures of grace to fulfill God's plan and purpose in this life. You can't be a general in the body of Christ just because you want to be. You can't have international influence just because you want to. You can't reach thousands or even millions of people because you dream of it. Forget that line of thinking, because it's not the Lord's wisdom.
When John Bevere became a household name and author of several bestselling books translated into over 90 languages at last count, it gave me something to shoot for. Boy, was I wrong! I don't have that kind of grace or that many talents. When I stopped making that a goal I entered a place of rest concerning my calling to write. Of course, I want more people to read my books, but my motive is to bless them with the message, not to build a following.
There are other examples of men who stayed in their grace and sphere of influence. Mario Murillo is someone I honor for his passion for souls and longevity. But did you know he has hardly ever preached overseas? Why? Because his call is to America. Some of you would be wiser to hear what I just said.
Many ministers continue going overseas and flopping with wasted time, money and effort. Why? Perhaps because it gives them a sense of significance that they are really doing something for the Lord. I lived overseas as a missionary for nearly a decade, and I can tell you from experience, most Western ministers who came to speak for us flopped.What do you mean, they flopped? I mean they just weren't effective. They were out of place. There wasn't any grace or anointing for them to be there. Most didn't really connect with the people in their preaching and teaching ministry.
I'm not trying to be unkind, because a few are really called to minister powerfully overseas, but not as many as we think. I'm not talking about just doing a mission trip to get exposure and experience, but an international ministry.
My own father in the faith, the late Kenneth E. Hagin, was the same way. Churches and ministers were constantly inviting him overseas to minister internationally, but he never went. Yet his ministry is touching the world through his many books, graduates of his school, and now also many overseas Bible schools. God's ways are not man's ways.
Faithfulness to God's grace on your life and the talents He's given you is what counts. Pastor, be faithful with the flock that the chief shepherd has entrusted to you. Stop striving to have a bigger congregation, a bigger building and a bigger budget. Shepherd and disciple the people God has given you, and let God handle the rest. Yes, love the lost and go after them, but don't lust after the numbers. Yes, make disciples, but don't use them to build your ministry and your church. Let the Lord sort all that out. Evaluate your ministry by the Great Commission. Love the people, and let the Lord take care of the numbers.
Most think God's increase is endless on this earth and are always striving to be bigger than what their grace allows them to be. Rest in what He's given you. Don't try to be bigger or greater.
Certainly the Lord gives increase to the faithful and rewards them, but you can't measure yourself against the guy who's been given five talents when you've only been given two.
Much of the strife, jealousy and competition in the body of Christ arises over this issue.
Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing in this hour. Bert's current passion is to promote a culture of the supernatural manifestations and ministries of the Holy Spirit in the church today and to pass it on to the next generation (Passing On The Move of God To The Next Generation). His newest release, now available on Kindle and soon on paperback, The Supernatural Church of Love And Power, is a book for the ages. Other materials/resources are available on his website, Holy Fire Ministries. You can also follow him personally on YouTube (Holy Fire Ministries), Facebook or Twitter.