I spent two summers in college working at Salem Ranch, a home for troubled teens in Middle-of-Nowhere, IL.  My former youth pastor who had discipled me was the director of the program.  The second summer I spent up there was much drier than the first as far as seeing fruit in the lives of guys I tried to invest time with (and in my life).  That summer Steve (my old youth pastor) taught and modeled something that has proved invaluable for ministry.  God demands faithfulness from us, not fruitfulness.  In other words, we are called to be obedient not to give a list of numbers.  He will provide the fruit, we are called to be faithful.  So often in ministry we long to see fruit, which is good.  However, instead of that motivating us to faithful prayer and faithful ministry despite the results, we allow ourselves to become discouraged if someone we are investing time with is not showing radical change all the time.  There’s more I could say about this, but for now I’d like to point you to The DesiringGod Blog.  They have a guest post from a missionary in Asia on this subject that is well worth reading.

HT: DesiringGod Blog