Unsuccessful Ministry – The Christian Musicians Devotional

The new year finds me working on updating our list of Christian Festivals and venues. As always, there are changes. Some ministries close while new ones start up. Over the years I have watched many ministries shut down and it is always heartbreaking, not as much for the closing but for the people involved. They almost always experience a deep sense of loss and frustration while asking, “What did I do wrong? What could have been done better or differently? Why did this happen?” Certainly it is not wrong to ask these kinds of questions, the answers may help us grow and do even better next time. But inevitably, in our humanness, the judging and blaming begins. We need to engage in healthy critique of our own lives but we also need to stop judging and blaming ourselves and one another. Ultimately, we must acknowledge that God is in control and He is probably up to something that we simply do not understand yet.

Here’s an excerpt from The Christian Musicians Devotional, to help us get a better perspective on unsuccessful ministries:


Unsuccessful Ministry

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”

Romans 8:31

We usually interpret this verse to mean that since God is on my side, I am going to win. But that simply is not what we experience. We do not always win. Does that mean that God is not always on our side? Was He on our side when we won and not on our side when we lost? Do we always win when we do everything right and lose when we do anything wrong? Of course not. So, we must not look at every unsuccessful ministry, bands that break up, labels that fail, or venues that close as God abandoning the ministry because the people involved fell short.

This verse shifts our focus from us and our side to God and His ministry. When we are aligned with what God is doing, when we do not have our own side, no one can be against us. They attempt to stand against God. But God will always win. In other words, people are used by God when cooperating with His will, or used by God unwillingly to accomplish His will. Either way, His ministry is going to be done. So perhaps when a ministry appears to be unsuccessful it would be more appropriate to ask, “What is God doing?” than to start by judging the people.

We strive to do effective ministry throughout our life, but being part of a ministry is not the most important thing. What is important, what cannot be changed by outside influences, is that we cannot be separated from the love of God. It’s not all about winning or losing at ministry, or how we do ministry, or even which ministry we are currently doing. It is all about who we are in ministry with—God. God does not remove the challenges and battles of ministry from us. But, our success, our victory is this: we are loved by God through it all.

Prayer: Father, give me discernment to know what You are doing.

Christian Musicians Devotional


The Christian Musicians Devotional

contains 365 daily readings that contain a Scripture, commentary, and prayer to help us through the challenges we face in music ministry.


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