A lot of Christians are afraid of success, especially in the vocational ministry setting. Even outside of that, in a secular job setting, people are scared of it for some reason. Yet I look at Christ's example and see Him dripping with ambition. He was out to change the world. So it is most certainly possible to be out to change the world, or be successful, and still be meek and humble. This is a dichotomy that most Christians don't understand, yet they aren't actually mutually exclusive. I am convinced that you can be even more effective in your witness with success just as in how you handle failure. I was recently promoted last year in my job in the Navy. I am now a Chief Petty Officer. I wanted that position (rank), I worked hard to get it, and I maintained my integrity while getting there. Now, I have an entirely new group of people to minister to and even witness to, just ask my fellow Chief Petty Officers.
It works, but you can't be afraid of success.
As I mentioned earlier, being successful doesn't mean you can't lead with humility, or be a servant leader. Again, using my military career as an example, I can say that I have done this. One of my strengths in both ministry and in the Navy is mentoring. I was taught by good mentors in this art and I know a fair amount about it. I'm not the best, but I'm blessed in my efforts. It may seem ironic (although it isn't), but by mentoring younger, less experienced sailors, I have actually furthered my career. Making sure that my sailors are cared for increases my influence and my net worth to my superiors, thus adding to my success.
I did not become someone else in order to get this success, nor have I seen great numbers follow me. What I have seen is some people saved, many grow in their faith, careers changed for the better, and my own success as a blessed byproduct.
Maybe most importantly when discussing success and Christianity though, I want to follow a born leader…someone who is successful. And I want people to follow me because they can see that I am good at what I do. Don't be afraid of success. Push forward and bear it out!