The Next Time Your Ministry Feels Like a Failure, Remember This

CrossThe gospel was built on failure.

It was never supposed to work.

For a long time, it looked like it never would.

It started with a young, pregnant single girl in a backwater town too small to be mentioned in most records.

She gave birth in a barn far away from home.

The most powerful man in the country tried to kill her baby.

The Jews were ruled by an empire of such stunning strength and ferocity that a local governor could, and would, execute thousands on a whim.

They had

  • no idols
  • no monuments
  • no army
  • no right to try their own capital cases
  • no power

Just a book. 

And a fading hope for a deliverer.


The Would-Be Revolutionary

Into this hopeless setting came yet another traveling preacher.

He saw himself as a would-be revolutionary, but had no home and minimal, if any, formal education.

He had the wrong kinds of friends from the wrong sorts of places. Including women (imagine – women!). And he relied on them for most of his financial support.

Not only did his own religious establishment not support him, they openly despised and opposed him.

Jesus’ most reliable followers were so unruly, almost every time he came into their presence he had to break up a fight or scold them for lack of faith.

They were so poor they had no money to pay their taxes.

The disciples never understood what their leader was trying to do.

His own brothers didn’t believe in him.


Opposed and Abandoned

His enemies hated each other.

But they hated Jesus so much more, that they joined forces to kill him.

One of his closest followers sold him for a small bag of coins – silver, not even gold.

When he needed them the most, his friends fell asleep.

When they woke up, most of them ran for the hills.

One of the few who stayed nearby swore he’d never met him.


A Forsaken Failure – Until…

His trial was a farce, but his torture was real.

On the cross, he hung naked and bleeding. His flesh hung in strips from his barely-recognizable body.

As he died, he didn’t just feel forsaken by God, he actually was forsaken by God.

Jesus’ life, ministry and message was a failure.

Until the resurrection.

That changed everything.

For everyone.


So what do you think? What do Jesus’ apparent failures and his resurrection mean for you and your ministry?

We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
Enter your comment right below this post and get in on the conversation.

(Graffiti Cross photo from jeannieforever • Flickr • Creative Commons license)

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6 thoughts on “The Next Time Your Ministry Feels Like a Failure, Remember This”

  1. It simply means that nothing we do or participate should be for Man’s approval and for God alone do we strive and labor, whom is the only one who can truly reward our efforts with Live and that more abundantly.

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