Is our work as ministers measured in the physical things, or magnificent disciples, we leave behind? I would argue (and I think you'd agree) that no, our work is in a Kingdom not of this world. But yet, while we're alive and here on this earth we praise those who left behind great missionary societies. Or huge churches. Or extraordinary disciples. Or writings which change our hearts and minds and move our spirits.
Certainly these things are not bad themselves. They are, in fact, good.
But I find it interesting thinking that I can not think of anyone who could rightfully call me their disciple. Now at different times in my life I have been, in some sense, discipled by someone. But I am not exclusively the outcome of any one persons ministry. Many different people have affected me over the years. My youth pastor in High School and even his incredibly incompetent (but humble) lay assistant. C.S. Lewis and Hudson Taylor's writings. The life experience and testimony of the lives of many great missionaries, ministers, and preachers. The truth spoken to me by my closest friends.
I chase hard after the Lord (or at least do my best to) because of the work of the Spirit manifested in my life through many different people. And if that is the case, why do I often feel inadequate playing the role of 'just another manifestation of the Spirit's work' in the lives of others?
We (I) want to call the sanctified life of another, the fruit of our own labor. But it isn't. Even in the best situations. It's the fruit of the labor of the Lord (sometimes gracefully through us). We should rejoice in any role we get to play in it.
I'm convinced the Lord is not sitting up there with a gigantic chart with lines drawn between people which He intends to use as a score card so we can get credit for what's due when we get to heaven.* But it sure is easy to live like He is. The Glory is going to go to Him. Weather we give it willfully or not.
*I can't help but imagine the voice of a sports announcer on judgement day, "And in the life of Ron Smith who changed the face of the Phillipines for God, a life-worth coming in at an even 1000 points, we have a 17% share going to his pastor for the great teaching he provided. That's 170 points to Pastor Jones... And with a 3% share going to..."