Ever since I began full-time ministry I’ve been struggling against finding my worth based on how many people show up. It doesn’t really matter what event it is: Bible study, hang out, worship service, whatever. If I’m heading it up, I feel more significant when more people come and I feel foolish when not many come and give lame excuses.
I know this isn’t right and that I shouldn’t think that way or feel that way, but it doesn’t mean the battle isn’t real.
I have picked up on something that lets me know my heart motivation is in this place. Whenever someone doesn’t come to a gathering and my initial reaction is sarcasm, I know I’ve succumbed to the lie again. Sarcasm for me is a nice way of being angry.
How do I know this is a sign I’m justifying myself based on attendance? Because the biblical response when someone is resistant to being part of the body of Christ isn’t anger, but Godly sorrow. Most of the time, I confess, I am not sorrowful that people aren’t interested in wanting to know Christ more through the class we’re offering or the program we’ve worked hard on. Most of the time I’m angry they’re more interested in going fishing than spending time with me.
That’s pride on my part. I don’t want to be that way.
And yet, I remember the truth about someone who died to justify me before God. I look to Him for freedom from my self-justification method, and ask for grace to have His heart toward those to whom He has called me to minister.