Would you hire this man as your pastor?

*Arrested many times.
*In and out of prison.
*Often run out of town.
*Never built a building.
*Never spoke on television.
*Never had a website.
*Never had a Facebook page.
*Never owned his own home.
*Had to work on the side to support himself.
*Never stayed very long in one place.
*Not a skilled public speaker.
*Unimpressive appearance.
*Sometimes preaches for hours at a time.
*Seems to get involved in public controversies.

Most churches would take a pass on a man like that. After all, you can't trust your pulpit to just anyone who comes along. And that's why the Apostle Paul would not feel at home in many of our churches today.

Every year I spend a good part of my time talking with pastors. I love pastors and I love spending time with them. Sometimes I'll ask, "How is it going?" and then sit back and wait for the answer. Just as I typed that sentence, I shrugged my shoulders, as if to say, "It depends." It depends on who is asking and when and where and why. And it depends on what day you ask.

Success in the ministry is notoriously hard to define. Even if we have met all our goals, have we truly been successful in the eyes of the Lord?

That's the question Paul faced in 2 Corinthians. He had to justify himself because a group of critics had virtually taken over the church, filling the people's minds with base accusations against Paul's character and his conduct. "You can't trust him. Look how fickle he is. He says he's coming for a visit, then he doesn't show up. How do you know he's not a fake?"

Part of Paul's answer comes in 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 where he declares that the real measure of his ministry is the lives changed by the Holy Spirit. That constitutes true success in the eyes of the Lord.

It's not about programs or buildings.
It's not about budgets or titles.|
It's not about a big reputation.

You can read the rest of the message online.

 You can reach the author at ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.