"I also find that one of the things we don’t preach well is that ministry that looks fruitless is constantly happening in the Scriptures. We don’t do conferences on that. There aren’t too many books written about how you can toil away all your life and be unbelievably faithful to God and see little fruit this side of heaven."
-- Matt Chandler
He brings up the examples of:
2. Moses not going into the promised land
3. John the Baptist not seeing the fulfillment of Jesus' work
Will you be faithful to your call, even when it seems fruitless? Are you committed to Jesus and His glory in your ministry, and not towards numbers? God is in charge of the results as long as we are simply obedient.
I recall my good friend and mentor as a college student, Jim Luebe, saying, "I just want to be a faithful laborer over time."
(HT: Vitamin Z)