I recently received a message about evaluating fruitfulness in one’s ministry and this is an area I’ve thought about over the years. As I thought over it, I realized I could point to some wonderful speaking engagements over the years or drop a name or two of well known people I’ve had the privilege to share with during this time.

However, these aren’t the ones which stand out to me. The three that do are quite different. The first is a young man who contacted me a few years ago whom I youth pastored in my early twenties. He said to me, after describing a number of difficulties he’d faced in his life, one thing had stuck with him during the intervening time that I’d mentioned to him, “God has done some amazing things for me, he will do the same for you.” The young man told me those words had helped him through those days.

The second one I think about was when a lady said to me in a small group and, later, in front of a much larger one “Brother Derek has taught me how to read the Bible through the lens of grace.”

Last, but not least, is my family. Having a wonderful wife and two children. My wife’s steady faith has always been a beacon and guide to me. Her willingness to growth with me on this journey of faith has been quite amazing.

Our daughter’s incessant questions which remind me of my own which I began to ask when I was much older also shows me seeds sprouting which had been planted at her baptism. (Nevermind her willingness to bludgeon me with my own words as a reminder to keep me faithful to my calling.)

And the little boy….the one with the willingness to change a family prayer and add a bit of goofiness and laughter when we all begin to take ourselves too seriously.

Yes, this is the fruit I see. Some of it has grown so nicely and begun dropping seeds of its own while others are beginning to blossom and smell so very sweet.

At the end of the day, may these three be the judge of my life and ministry.


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