"Something's wrong with your work." A member of the denomination's hierarchy delivered the critical review to a faithful old pastor during a prescribed periodic evaluation. "Only one convert has been added to your church this year, and he is just a boy," the denominational official said.
Later that same day, the pastor languished alone in his study, praying with a heavy heart, when someone walked up behind him. Turning around, he saw the boy - his only convert that year.
"Pastor," he asked, "do you think I could become a preacher or a missionary?"
That boy was Robert Moffatt - the missionary who later opened Africa to the gospel. Years later, Robert addressed a group in London, where a young doctor heard him say, "I have seen in the morning sun the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been." That young doctor, deeply moved by Moffatt's message, himself sailed for Africa in 1840, where he labored for more than thirty years. His name: David Livingstone.
Back to that pastor...Was he a "success"? Was he "significant"?
I guess it all depends on whether you're adding or multiplying. On a surface level, at least in that particular year, he had precious little to advertise statistically. Fortunately, God keeps a different scorebook.
When John Wesley died, all he left were two silver spoons, his glasses, preaching bands, cloak, prayer book and the usual odds and ends common to an elderly person. But fortunately, his writing had also been preserved. Today his journals, letters, essays, sermons, and tracts are available for all subsequent generations. And, I almost forgot...he left for his legacy the Methodist Church!
My responsibility and yours is to leave a heritage of faithfulness. God will keep score and take care of the results ... if we'll only trust Him with them. Can you do that? If so, then a great harvest awaits you, even if it seems obscure and unimportant to the world.
Leave a legacy!