Thursday, March 06, 2008

Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome

Frank Turk begins some reflections on Kent and Barbara Hughes's book, Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome.

The book was first published over 20 years ago. Here's the description:
Every year thousands of God’s servants leave the ministry convinced they are failures. Years ago, in the midst of a crisis of faith, Kent Hughes almost became one of them. But instead he and his wife Barbara turned to God’s Word, determined to learn what God had to say about success and to evaluate their ministry from a biblical point of view.

This book describes their journey and their liberation from the “success syndrome”—the misguided belief that success in ministry means increased numbers. In today’s world it is easy to be seduced by the secular thinking that places a number on everything. But the authors teach that true success in ministry lies not in numbers but in several key areas: faithfulness, serving, loving, believing, prayer, holiness, and a Christlike attitude. Their thoughts will encourage readers who grapple with feelings of failure and lead them to a deeper, fuller understanding of success in Christian ministry.

“One of the very best books I have read on the spirituality of pastoral ministry.”
Philip Graham Ryken, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia

“I recommend that every pastor first read the Hughes’s book privately and then go over it with his lay leaders. Doing this will not be less than a milestone and might well be a watershed.”
J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College