In their book, Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome, Kent and Barbara Hughes define success in ministry as faithfulness, and connect faithfulness to being full of God’s Word:
“Knowledge of the Bible begins with and is fed by reading God’s Word. Every servant must be reading the Scriptures daily, preferably going through the Bible at least once a year. Many of God’s most-used servants have made such reading and meditation a part of their lives. We have known some who have read the Bible through a hundred times – one a hundred and fifty times!Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome (p. 38).
It was said that George Mueller read the bible two hundred times. David Livingston read it four times in succession while he was detained in a jungle town. He lived out Spurgeons’s dictum: ‘A Bible which is falling apart usually belongs to someone who is not.’
William Evans, who in the early part of this century pastored College Church in Wheaton where we now [but at the time of this post, used to] serve, had memorized the entire Bible in the King James and the New Testament in the American Standard Version.
Billy Graham says that his medical missionary father-in-law, Nelson Bell, made it a point ‘to rise every morning at four-thirty and spend two to three hours in Bible reading. He didn’t use that time to read commentaries or write; he didn’t do his correspondence or any of his other work. He just read the Scriptures every morning, and he was a walking Bible encyclopedia. People wondered at the holiness and the greatness in his life.’
Christian co-workers, the call from both the Scriptures and the lives of the faithful is to be people of the Book – to know it and correctly interpret it. If you’re not presently engaged in systematic study, why not covenant to, at the very least, read the Scriptures through this year, and put your life in the way of true success?”