I’ve always tried to live my life and do ministry by this rule:
Don’t try to be successful. Try to do good work.
Not people-pleasing work, God-honoring work
Not self-promoting work, Christ-magnifying work
Not numbers-driven work, Spirit-led work
The one time in my ministry that I abandoned this principle and did things for the numbers, I got numbers. For a while. But the numbers came at a cost. They sucked my soul dry.
Those numbers, as modest as they were, almost killed my church and cost me my ministry. Not because of the numbers. Because I abandoned my principles for them.
Yes, you can honor God and see numerical success. There are a lot of churches, pastors and ministries that do. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.
It’s not about size or success. It’s about having and honoring Godly principles, no matter what the results look like.