W. Somerset Maugham, English dramatist & novelist, once said, “There are three rules for writing a successful novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
It appears there are also three rules for building a successful ministry or church. But sadly, no one knows what they are either. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there are no successful ministries or churches. Because churches are growing every day. Thriving new ministries are in almost every town in the world.
Years ago, the pastor of a very successful church in our county was invited to the ministerium to share the secret of his success. He gave a formula with which I agreed. He said that if you preach God’s Word, people will come and your ministry will be successful.
There was one problem, however. I had sat under his ministry and in the churches of every man seated around that table. Yes, he preached God’s Word. But so did every other men gathered there. In fact, in my opinion, he was certainly not the best expositor of the Word among the 25 pastors who were attending the meeting. One of the best. But not the best.
Perhaps the real rule that must be followed is to do what God has called me to do. The second rule is let God worry about the results. The third rule could be desperately pray for God’s anointing and His mercy and grace to poured out on His people.
Do I sound like I know what I’m talking about? I hope you don’t make that false assumption. Yet, if I could just figure out the three rules for writing a successful novel, I could… Nah, I better stick to what God has called me.