6 Myths of Success

In ministry it is easy to get hung up on the wrong things. As humans we are bent in our nature to
misunderstand the things of God and chase after lesser things. Pastors are tempted to rate success by the criteria of this world rather than from our God. When applied to student ministry this reminds me of my article, True Success in Student Ministry. Here are 6 myths that can creep into a pastor’s mind according to Scott Thomas of the Acts 29 Network.

  1. “Success is a result of my great faith.” God makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:45). He is sovereign.
  2. “Success comes after hard work.” Paul warned to put no confidence in the flesh, and whatever redeeming merit Paul experienced, he counted it as trash (Phil. 3:2–11).
  3. “Success brings me love.” Success, or the lack of success, is a false indicator of God’s love for me (Job 10:12–13).
  4. “Success proves my level of spirituality.” Your spirituality is not validated by your success or evident because of it. Our spiritual life is only because of Jesus Christ’s completed work (Rom. 3:21–28).
  5. “Success makes me happy.” Success can never be satisfied; it always craves more (Eccles. 5:10).
  6. “Success is achieved through strength.” God intentionally chooses the unlikely so that all success can be ascribed to God. (1 Cor. 1:26–31). God’s grace is illuminated in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).

Your fellow worker in the field,  Adam

10 NEEDED Reminders for Dating Couples Before Marriage

1. It’s not bad to want to have sex with your significant other. It’d be another sort of worry if you didn’t. The key is to want to glorify Christ more than you want to have sex with each other.

2. The key to glorifying Christ more than you want to have sex with each other is that it is a decision to be made over and over again.

3. Persons in a dating or courting relationship are on their best behavior. So however they are now, you can expect, over time, for them to get “worse.” As familiarity grows, people let their guards down. Marriage does not fix bad behavior; it often gives it freer reign. Ladies, this means if your boyfriend is controlling, suspicious, verbally condescending or manipulative, he will get worse, not better the longer your relationship goes on. Whatever you are making excuses for or overlooking now, will get harder to ignore and more prominent the longer your relationship goes on. You can’t fix him, and marriage won’t straighten him out.

4. Nearly every Christian I know who is married to an unbeliever loves their spouse and does not necessarily regret marrying them, but has experienced deep pain and discontent in their marriage because of this unequal yoking and would now never advise a believer to marry an unbeliever.

5. Assuming you’re special and you’re different and their experiences won’t reflect yours is shortsighted, unwise, and arrogant. The people who love you and are warning/advising you against your relationship might be ignorant fools. Those sorts of people do exist. But odds are better that your parents, your pastor, your older married friends are wiser than you think.

6. Living together before marriage is a marriage killer.

7. Premarital sex de-incentivizes a young man to grow up, take responsibility, and lead his home and family.

8. Pre-marital sex wounds a young woman’s heart, perhaps imperceptibly at first but undeniably over time, as she trades in covenant benefits without covenant security. This is not the way God designed sex to fulfill us. Never give your body to a man who has not pledged to God his faithfulness to you in covenant marriage, which presupposes an accountability to a local church. In short, don’t give your heart to a man who is not accountable to anybody who provides godly discipline.

9. All of your relationships, including your romantic relationship, is meant to make Jesus look big more than it is meant to provide you personal fulfillment. When we make personal fulfillment our ultimate priority in our relationships, ironically enough, we find ourselves frustratingly unfulfilled.

10. You are loved by God with abundant grace in Christ’s atoning work, and an embrace of this love by faith in Jesus provides Holy Spiritual power and satisfaction to pursue relationships that honor God and thereby maximize your joy.


This awesome article was written by Jarred Wilson and published through The Gospel Coalition at This Link. I pray it help you think biblically about your dating relationships leading to a godly marriage.

Your fellow worker in the field,  Adam

True Success in Student Ministry

I’ve seen it to many times to count. Going to a camp or conference where youth workers are in full force.  We all get to sit and talk, compare notes with what is working, what is not, to encourage each other, to pray for one another, ect.  But something always slips into the conversation.  Maybe it’s out front, maybe it’s more subtle, but it’s the burning question lurking in the corner of our minds.

 “How many kids are you running in your ministry?”

The numerical data of student ministry appears to be in the driver seat.

  • You want to impress your student worker comrades?
  • You need approval from the budget committee for an increase this year?
  • You need more volunteers on Wednesday nights?
  • You want the respect of your senior pastor and staff?

…Have big numbers…

Among student pastors when the numbers start flying, some feel like MVPs with their impressive headcounts, others feel like total losers who can’t compare.  The lines are drawn and the assumptions take root.

Why is this?  What makes large numbers the definition of success in most student ministries?  I believe it is a strategy of that ole trickster himself.  The devil wants us to compare ourselves to each other and not to the truths of Scripture.  He wants us to measure our effectiveness based on something other than the Gospel’s power.  He wants us to stay distracted, thus losing the opportunity to shape a generation deeply by the power of the cross.

If we define success according to the ministry of Jesus Christ we will find numerical quantity is not the issue, but spiritual quality.

I believe every youth minister, student pastor, small group volunteer, anyone connected to our ministries, should define success in terms of discipleship.  Are you downloading your faith into the life of someone else?  Face to face, knee to knee.  Are you getting into the nitty gritty of life with another individual and showing them the ropes of the Christian life.

Jesus had cycles of ministry. From rock star status, to outcast status.  From huge open air crowds, to intimate upper rooms.  One thing remained consistent through His public ministry.  Jesus continually, intentionally, relationally invested into the lives of His disciples. 

  • Continually – it takes time. Real discipleship is done with time spent together doing real life. Fifteen minutes of GREAT conversation a week won’t make a disciple, but daily hanging out will.  I’ve taken teens with me to dinner at my house, let one watch how I put my kids to bed, had help changing the oil in my car, even (gulp) going Wal-Mart.  In everyday situations we show how to live for the glory of God.  It rubs off with continual exposure.
  • IntentionallyJesus didn’t do anything on accident.  We need to take advantage of the situations we find ourselves in and use them to train disciples.  What if we knew some things would be hard, but challenged our students to do them anyway?  What if we intentionally tried to develop habits contrary to culture, but conforming to scripture.  We should all have some teenagers under us who know they are explicitly being mentored so they can go and mentor someone next.
  • Relationally – Jesus taught in ways that His disciples could understand.  He helped them along in their faith.  He walked with them even though their immaturity.  In relationships we have our most powerful influence.  Are we taking time to truly shepherd our teens?  Sheep get to know their shepherd.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd and His sheep know His voice.  We get the privilege to be under-shepherds and care for His flock.  Care for them, know them, walk through life with them.  Disciple-making doesn’t come from a pulpit, but from a relationship.

What if youth workers didn’t brag about how packed the room was for extreme goldfish swallowing, but instead bragged about the depths of scripture memorization from their kids.  What if numbers didn’t drive the ministry, but spiritual maturity was the goal?  How different would our student ministries look if we stopped trying to look cool and hip, and really invested in teenagers allowing the Gospel to penetrate to the deepest levels of the heart changing us from the inside out?

True success is measured in spiritual maturity not in impressive headcounts.  Paul understood this when he penned these words in Colossians 1:28. “We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”

May your ministries be successful in the truest sense of the word.

Your fellow worker in the field, Adam