Liberating recognises that success is loving. In an extended treatment of John 21 and Peter’s reinstatement, love of God is seen as being biblically successful. Hard to argue with anything there. The Hughes point out that a large church, a growing congregation, powerful sermons etc. can all be present, but the man involved can be absent of the love of God. They also point out that the liberating feature of seeing love as success means that ministry can no longer be quantified (and therefore your success ranked against the past or others). How can you quantify love? It also informs the very nature of your ministry – those who have been loved love.
I found this chapter incredibly encouraging and challenging. Because of course the very fact that love can’t be quantified means that you (well, me at least) immediately examine yourself and find yourself wanting. Could I love God more? Of course. Can I? By his grace and ongoing work of his Spirit, I will. It is this divine intervention and work in the heart of the believer that I feel could have been stressed more here. But, all in all – a top chapter.