James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Over the weekend I saw a pretty amusing video on twitter. It originally came from ESPN, but twitter user Rudy Cerda (@rudycerda) added a caption. The video (embedded below) has a man going doing a set of exercises on an elevated stand while in the background another man is shooting free-throws.
Cerda’s caption says “foreground: Church fads over the last 50 years
background: John MacArthur.”
The point he’s making is often we focus on flashy Church growth tools (like the man doing in the foreground) while true success is defined by consistent ministry.
To put it another way, ministry success isn’t achieved by the actions that draw lots of attention, but a consistent ministry of quiet excellence.
I’m very grateful for the opportunity to see this kind of consistent integrity through the life of my father, and missionaries Alan and Beverly Berry who spent over thirty years serving in the Caribbean. Being able to witness their faithfulness to God both on the good days and bad days over the years has helped me understand consistency beats excitement of flashy ministry every day of the week.
James 3:13 reminds me of my father and the Berrys because it describes a person who acts with meekness (humility, not trying to make a show of things) and wisdom (discretion). It also gives the idea of a testimony that has been lived out with excellence over a long period of time.
Ministry sometimes is like the man doing handstands as God does a mighty work. But more often it is the person shooting free-throws while nobody is watching.