What is Failure?

Posted: October 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

This morning I am curious. What constitutes failure in ministry? Moses was not able to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land: was he a failure? Noah preached without any converts, was he a failure? Daniel wound up in a lion’s den: was he a failure? What about Joseph? Or Shardrach, Meschach, and Abednigo? Was Abraham? For that matter, Jesus died on a cross. Was he a failure?

Of course we are quick to say, “No, none of them are failures.” So when is a ministry a failure? When is it a success? I remember years and years ago hearing Clyde Fant say (he was preaching professor at Southwestern Seminary at the time), ‘Success is doing the will of God”. By that definition, can we not also say, “Failure is not doing the will of God.” Stephen preached one sermon that we know of, was stoned to death. Was he a failure or a success?

Weigh in on this topic. What constitutes failure, or go at it the other way, what constitutes success?

  1. Keith Arnett says:

    IF we are operating in the Spirit, there is no failure. Whatever the result must be considered success, and something in which we – as the operatives – can have no pride. “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” 1 Cor 3:7

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