All of us who have been preaching for a decade or more have come across members who have absolutely NO CLUE as to what ministry is about. I believe it was Squire on this board that made a comment about "being faithful" as our true calling, and not "being successful". True statement. Those of us who work with the Deaf know that our ministry is going to be the smallest in the church, in most cases. It will be just as hard, or harder to keep those who are Christians coming faithfully to the services. If we are sincere in soul-winning, we know that there are so many barriers to cross with the Deaf that many won't understand the simplest presentation. I dont want you to think that I am of a negative mindset, just letting you know that there is no harder ministry than working with the Deaf. This fact makes it much more imperative to understanding what ministry is all about. We are called to minister in a certain ministry or work, and we are told to be faithful to that calling. There is NO guarantee that we will see numerical or spiritual growth. In a city like mine which is filthy with sin and immorality, we are unable to draw more people, not because of how we run the ministry, but because of what we ARE. We stand opposed to Mardi Gras, to gay marriage, etc, and believe me, it is not a popular position, but one that we take with knowledge and belief that it is the one God has told us to take. What is ministry? Evangelism, discipleship, counseling, worship, preaching, teaching, etc. I am getting tired of the complaints from people that our group has not grown. I am tired of people asking me if we will shut down. Some say that we have not been blessed. Some say our approach is wrong. I can only say that each week, my people get a message hot from the prayer altar. I do not preach "re-runs" and each week the people will see a message that God has given me. I dont copy Charles Stanley even though the man is far better than I am. My S.S. teacher is a godly man who uses pictures to tell the story of Israel (now at the walls of Jericho in the story-telling)and his knowledge of stories exceeds my own. We do go visiting. We have had some people saved. I think we are doing well, but there is a problem. Rememeber "Can these bones live?" story?? The message was not so much a message to the house Israel as it was to those sent to preach to the Israelites. The whole point is there is an ATTITUDE prevalent with those chosen to preach and minister which is not one of hope. The bones, being VERY DRY.. could they live again? That story has been one that has lifted me, has kept me on my feet in the ministry. Someone mentioned William Carey who spent six years on the mission field before ONE person was saved. Ministry is acknowledging where God has placed you and being faithful in it. It entails more, of course, but this is the one thing we must remember. The Lord watched me in my deaf mission in another town when I preached to an empty room. Seeing people fill the church is an exciting thing, but the most important thing is for us to remain faithful. Any thoughts? serious,, time for Tim to get some encouragement when my best friends are trying to discourage me. (and I am not kidding).