I’ve had one question stuck in my mind since completing my reading of Jeremiah:
How do you determine a fruitful ministry?
What makes it successful? Is it the number of converts? The number of professions of faith?
At Compassion, one of the ways we measure our fruitfulness is the number of children we see sponsored. For our ministry, this is an incredibly important metric, because if we don’t see children sponsored, we’re failing in our jobs.
But are these kinds of metrics—the number of professions of faith, the number of people attending a church, the number of people serving in a particular ministry—the thing we should measure?
If you look at converts, Jeremiah’s ministry was a spectacular failure. He had two people listen to his calls of repentance: Baruch, his scribe (see Jer. 32:12) and Ebed-melech, an Ethiopian eunuch who served King Zedekiah (see Jer. 38:7-13).
Years of ministry. Countless sermons. Powerful & provocative words.
Everyone else tried to kill him.
Jeremiah’s ministry has taught me something incredibly important: