6 Simple Secrets to Success in Ministry





Ignite-CrowdWhat a week it was! Deborah and I attended Ignite 2013 along with over 9000 Filipino students plus hundreds of students and Every Nation campus missionaries from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Guam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Vietnam and others. Rather than writing a long wordy blog about the conference, here are some photos that are worth a thousand words each. Click and enjoy.

Every time we have international guests visit us in Manila, someone will eventually ask me about the “secret” or the “keys” or the “secret keys” to our success and growth.  Here’s my current answer.

1. Calling. Figure out what God wants you to do with your life. Not what your friends, parents, and culture want you to do. God has a unique calling for you. Some people figure that out. Some don’t. Success starts when we find out what God wants us to do.

2. Commitment. Work hard. Go all in. No holds barred. Be obsessed. Burn the candle at both ends, and the middle. My Dad taught me hard work, and the Bible confirmed it. Some people can’t spell work ethic. They are lazy and they will never succeed until they embrace hard work. And for those who are working hard with little to show for it: after you have worked hard for several years, keep working and continue believing. Refuse to quit. Don’t quit when it gets tough. Don’t quit when it gets costly. Don’t quit when everyone tells you it is not worth it. Those who quit do not succeed. Those who refuse to quit eventually succeed. In summary: work hard and keep working hard for a long time.

3. Community. Your calling is bigger than you. What God wants you to do cannot be done alone. You will need a team to be successful. (I am forever grateful that God lets me work with the best team on the planet!)

4.  Concentration. Stay focused on what God called and gifted you to do. Do not diversify. Do not multitask. Do not attempt to do everything that can be done in the name of God. You cannot meet every need. Find the needs God wants you to meet, and concentrate on doing that the best you possibly can. We have been successful because we stuck with the “same ole boring strokes” for three decades. We have never jumped on the “get-big-quick” flavor of the month. We know what we are called to do (see #5 and #6 below), and we simply concentrate on that and nothing else.

5. Honor God. This is the ultimate motive for all we do, and the ultimate measure of real success.

6. Make Disciples. Period.

In summary, find out what God wants you to do and keep doing that and nothing else—for a long, long, long time.


Steve and Deborah Murrell went to the Philippines in 1984 for a one-month summer mission trip that never ended. They are the founding pastors of Victory Manila, one church that meets in 14 locations in Metro Manila and has planted churches in 60 Philippine cities and 20 nations. Currently, Victory has more than 6,000 discipleship groups that meet in coffee shops, offices, dormitories and homes in Metro Manila. Steve is co-founder and president of Every Nation Churches and Ministries, a family of churches focused on church planting, campus ministry and world missions.

For the original blog, visit stevemurrell.com.

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