Christian men and women struggle with the labor of ministry; and its rewards. The greatest reward of ministry is seeing people come to faith in Christ Jesus, through of the preaching and teaching the word of God, that we do.
Our influence on these people though should decrease as those individuals grow in the faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ. For some these decreases are difficult to bear.
When a child grows up and leaves home parents should rejoice because that is the way of things, and we can only pray that we have prepared them for what God and life has for them out in the world. That is true in ministry as well.
John the Baptist was questioned about Jesus and His growing number of followers, and John’s decreasing followers. The following is his answer:
“Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:25-30 (KJV)
The Baptist realized that God gives us everything when he says, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven”.
The Baptist also realized that Jesus must increase in popularity, but he himself must decrease. If we think we must increase in ministry; then we deceive ourselves. Jesus the Christ must increase and we must decrease.
We share the glorious Gospel of Christ with a dark, lost, condemned, and dying world; and when they hear, obey and believe they are to follow Him not you or me in ministry.