In our consumerist, results-driven world, it’s easy for Christians to fall into the same mindset as the world regarding success in ministry. Bulging at the seams, super-slick everything, entertaining music, drama, inspiring speakers.
I’d like to share an example that I know of a successful ministry. Twelve years ago, John and Mihyon Humphrey moved to New Zealand with a desire to share the good news of Jesus Christ. They sought to do so by inviting folks to study the bible, and to discover the gospel, and then to minister to those who were saved by forming a fellowship of believers that met as Grace Baptist Church.
During this time, Cheryl and I were immensely blessed to have been able to come under John’s pastoral care and guidance for a season. Over these years, God used John and Mihyon to challenge us to grow and mature in the Lord. In particular, John instilled in us a love for the bible, by faithfully preaching through books of the bible, verse by verse, patiently explaining each verse to us and expanding upon the whole counsel of God.
Mihyon, on the other hand, modelled many aspects of a virtuous wife (Proverbs 31) through her acts of service, hospitality, counselling, and more. When writing many letters to their supporters and ministry partners, she continued to express gratitude and thanksgiving to God for many blessings they experienced and witnessed.
Sure, there were challenges and trials. We did encounter some disagreements on secondary issues, some of which led to mutual separation, and our search for another church home. But at no stage has John ever wavered from preaching Christ crucified, nor wavered from upholding the authority of Scripture. And we’re continually grateful for that.
To me, John and Mihyon’s ministry was successful because they put God first, and sought to have Him be the one to grow the gospel seeds sown. It didn’t matter that Grace Baptist was not packed to the rafters with people longing for their ears to be tickled. Every member of this fellowship, past or present, was challenged to foster a deeper relationship with God, to be fruitful Christians. And Cheryl and I, along with scores of other people, are better for it today.
John and Mihyon leave tonight, headed for their new mission field in South Korea. We will continue to pray for your ministry!
The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)