Monday, April 2, 2012

You Are Already A Success!

Our culture craves the idea of being successful.  For many, the thought of success is viewed as having "made it."  However, success is not something you can have or possess.  True success is a state of being not having.

Unfortunately, the wrong view of what success is has infiltrated the church world.  Success is measured by how many people attend your church, the amount of square footage your campus has, the number of staff members you have, the number of ministries you offer and the size of your budget.

If you need those things to feel successful or validate yourself - then you'll be driven to acquire it at any cost. Even after you acquire it you won't be satisfied and you'll move on to something else in search of personal validation and self-worth.

Personal ambition is great.  However, if personal ambition is masked with Christian cliche's and spiritual language you can end up with dysfunctional behavior that goes undetected until it's too late.  Who suffers as a result of this?  Everyone.

My hope is that we can produce a culture in our leadership that resists the urge of measuring success in terms of having as opposed to being.  Sadly, this view isn't accepted in secular culture nor in most Christian environments. 

Who said you have to "have" something to be successful?  If you don't have anything...does that make you a nobody or unsuccessful?   Well, according to today's culture (and many people I've met in ministry along the way) there's this underlying current that tends to base success on how many books you've written, how many people attend your church, what conference you've been invited to speak at or how expensive the cuff links are you're wearing on your embroidered shirt. 

Jesus said this..."Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3-4)

Jesus also said..."The greatest among you will be your servant.  All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted." (Matthew 23:11-12)

Jesus saw success (Kingdom success) in terms of BEING not in terms of HAVING or even DOING.

This is directly opposite to the consumer-oriented culture which many in ministry today are determined in possessing just so that they can prove to everyone that they are "somebody."

Apostle Paul summed it up best in Philippians 4 "...I have learned to be content with whatever I have."

Friends, if we can turn the thinking from HAVING or even DOING to simply BEING...imagine how many leadership failures we could prevent.

God is not opposed to us having things.  However, He is opposed to those things...having us!  Friend, your success is not tied to all the STUFF you can acquire or the name you can make for yourself!  Be yourself.  Be comfortable in your own skin.  Refuse to compare yourself to others. 

Rest assured in the fact that God validates you.  He affirms you.  He'll give you what you need.  

Strive for excellence...push for it!  Give 110% in everything you do! Don't settle for mediocrity!  However, don't feel you have to have more than someone else in order to be considered successful!