I think many of us feel like we have poured our life into something or someone, only to feel that it was fruitless. As a man who has served in churches since I was 15, I have served some churches where I felt like I wasted my time there. I find later that the time wasn’t wasted.
When I resigned the pastorate in 2013, family problems had depleted my ability to try to pastor a church where an element was against me. I stood before that small Sunday night crowd and gave a very brief resignation speech. I didn’t have the emotional strength to give more. I remember the last statement I made – “I cling to the promise that my labor was not in vain in the Lord.” Then I sat down.
Even from that brief pastorate, I occasionally hear about how God used me. First Corinthians 15:58 promises you that your labor for the Lord is not wasted. Whatever you do in investing into someone’s life for God’s glory will reap benefits. They may be seen in eternity rather than here, but they will be brought to light.
To the person who feels like you’re wasting your time at church or ministering in some capacity, it’s not in vain! Your definition of success and God’s are vastly different. Focus on God’s definition and keep investing, even when you can’t see what God is doing.