Success or faithfulness in ministry?
The church growth movement has made many lasting contributions to our practice of ministry. But its overemphasis on technique and results can put too much pressure on ministers because it underemphasizes the importance of godly character and the sovereignty of God. Those who claim ‘what is required is faithfulness’ are largely right, but this mindset can take too much pressure off church leaders. It does not lead them to ask hard questions when faithful ministries bear little fruit. When fruitlessness is our criterion for evaluation, we are held accountable but not crushed by the expectation that a certain number of lives will be changed dramatically under our ministry.
-Tim Keller, Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City.