I cannot tell you how often I have worried and lost sleep over this one thing: was I being effective for the cause of Christ? I would lose sleep. I would get frustrated over numbers, or lack thereof, that would show up to a worship service or event that I was in charge of.
You see, I want my life to count. I want to know that at the end of my life I actually made a difference for the kingdom of God. And I don't believe that there is anything wrong with this.
But here's the problem with my thinking. When my focus is on whether or not I'm being effective, then my focus is on me. It's not on Christ or his kingdom, but rather my focus rests on myself and is fed by my own insecurities. Do you what that is? Do you see the core problem here? It's one word.
And do you know what that idol is?
The remedy? Strive to be FAITHFUL. Effectiveness can be manipulated. I can speak in a worship service and manipulate a crowd if my focus is on being effective, because the response of those that I preach to is of utmost importance because my effectiveness is the priority. But when faithfulness to Jesus is the focus, I stay on task and focus on that which is truly the priority: Jesus. I listen for his leading. I obey his will. I strive to do only that which he wants me to. I seek his approval rather than the approval of the crowd. I actually walk with Jesus rather than pretending to.
Some may read this and say, "There's nothing wrong with being effective. In fact, we are supposed to see multiplication when it comes to making disciples." And for those who would say this, I would agree. Unless... Unless your effectiveness is directly connected to your own personal ego rather than to bring glory to Jesus.
How do I know this? Lets just say I have personal experience.
And the thing about focusing on faithfulness instead of effectiveness is this: when you're faithful to Christ, you're always effective. It really can't be said the other way around.
In the end, it really is true: FAITHFUL > EFFECTIVENESS.