While finishing my research for a church-history class, I came across this quote from William Carey.
“If he give me credit for being a plodder he will describe me justly. Anything beyond that will be too much. I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.” William Carey
This quote is powerful on it’s own, but becomes even more powerful when we add the context of what Carey experienced.
William Carey spent seven years on the mission field sharing the Gospel without a single convert. Through that dry period of ministry he faithfully shared the Gospel, and a great revival ended up taking place.
This quote looks back on the great work of God and admits there’s nothing he could have done to make it happen. Instead William Carey simply committed himself to faithfully doing the work of the Lord, even if there weren’t results.
And God brought results because of his faithfulness!
Which brings up the question, would God have blessed William Carey if he had given up during year three or four? Perhaps, but I don’t believe so. The great blessing of God came because of Carey’s consistency.
This is important particularly in ministry because we tend to want to have results right away. And the Gospel instead usually does it’s work slowly (so the glory can go to God not us). So our goal shouldn’t be lots of exciting experiences or success, but instead a consistent plodding.
In a 2010 article entitled “The Glory of Plodding” (I borrowed the name) Kevin Deyoung writes this.
What we need are fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries. That’s my dream for the church—a multitude of faithful, risktaking plodders. The best churches are full of gospel-saturated people holding tenaciously to a vision of godly obedience and God’s glory, and pursuing that godliness and glory with relentless, often unnoticed, plodding consistency.
The thing about plodding (consistent obedience) is it isn’t fun or exciting. In fact it’s actually boring!!! But that faithful consistent repetition of faithful obedience DOES make an impact. And God honors those who commit themselves to it.
Someday in Heaven Believers will step forward to receive their rewards for faithful service on the earth.
We will see many of the well-known believers receive their rewards. But I personally believe the most crowns will be given to people we never heard of. Faithful saints who plodded for the Lord year in, year out never really seeing the impact their life truly made.
On that day few people will care about who had the biggest crowds, or who was the most popular.
Instead they will honor with Christ those who were the most faithful