I am tempted to think that if I were more able and zealous then people might be converted and the church grow but of course this is nonsense. My trust must not be in me or my work but in God who can do all things. This extract from “The sword and the trowel” by C.H. Spurgeon is quoted in the chapter on life and character in “On being a pastor”:
Our work especially requires faith. If we fail in faith we had better not have undertaken it; and, unless we obtain faith commensurate with the service we shall soon grow weary of it. It is proven by all observation that success in the Lord’s service is very generally in proportion to faith. It certainly is not in proportion to ability, nor does it always run parallel with a kind of zeal; but it is invariably according to the measure of faith, for this is a law of the kingdom without exception, “According to thy faith be it done unto you.” It is essential, then, that we should have faith to be useful, and that we should have great faith if we are to be greatly useful. For many other reasons besides usefulness — namely, even for our being able to hold our own against the enemies of the truth, and for ability to stand against the temptations which surround our office — it is imperative upon us that we should have abundant confidence in the living God. We, above all men, need the mountain-moving faith, which, in the old time, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, subdued kingdoms, and wrought righteousness.
…Next to, this, our faith most earnestly and intensely fixes itself upon the Christ of God . We trust in Jesus; we believe all that inspired history says of him; not making a myth of him, or his life, but taking it as a matter of fact that God dwelt in very deed among men in human flesh, and that an atonement was really and truly offered by the incarnate God upon the cross of Calvary. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ to us is not alone a Saviour of the past. We believe that he has “ascended up on high, leading captivity captive,” and that he “ever lives to make intercession for us”