I heard a phrase a few weeks ago from a pastor named Steve Furtick, and it's helped me realize something about myself. I've realized that I almost always believe that success in ministry is always in a role beyond me. "Real ministry," I'll say to myself, "Is the flashier stuff. I'm just doing little stuff that doesn't amount to much."
But Steve's revelation cut through that fog of stubborn inadequacy in me. "Work your soil," he said. Be an expert in every part of the ground that God has given you to cultivate right now. Keep working until it's rich and cleared out and ready for growth. That's how to engage in true ministry. Don't look at someone else's soil to quantify ministry. The Lord has given each of us a plot to upkeep and then called us to care for it, however big or small it happens to be.
Working your soil--THAT is successful ministry.