I’m never going to write a book. Well, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to write a book. I mean, I have no plans for a book. I don’t dream of being an author. And writing this blog just about kills me so I can’t imagine writing much more than this. So chances are good I’m never going to write a book.
While I’m on the topic of things I’m probably never going to do, we can also add the following:
- Lead a cutting edge ministry that people come from miles around to experience
- Start an organization that shakes up the church or the world
- Be a high demand, high profile speaker at all those cool conferences
Let me say, just for the record, that I’m not against any of these things. I like books, big churches and innovative ministries that are effective for the Kingdom, organizations that make a difference and I have learned a lot at cool conferences. None of this stuff is bad. I’m just saying I’m probably not going to do any of that stuff.
So what does that make me? And all the people like me? This is the majority of us. Are we failures? I hope not. I hope at the end of things, when we are judged, we are judged by how obedient we were to God in doing what He asked us to do. And He doesn’t ask all of us to do the “big stuff”. He asks us to follow where He leads, to love others, to make disciples where He has placed us. And if we do that – it will be enough. We will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” which is all we will need to hear.
But I worry that we think it won’t be enough. We look around and see what’s cool and celebrated and we think that’s what we need to be about. If only we could write that book or speak at that conference or break 1000 …then we will matter. Then we will really be doing ministry. But if we get too focused on “if only” we will miss the opportunities and people that God has put around us. And we might even think they don’t matter because they don’t get us closer to the “if only” stuff. And that would be a problem.
So what does matter? The people God has placed around you and called you to love and serve. The ministry He has called you to. Obediently responding to God may not bring you closer to the “if only” but it will bring you closer to Him. We are asked to be obedient – nothing more and nothing less. If we are obedient and the “if only” stuff happens, fine. If not, fine.
Now I want to be clear. If God has called you to write a book or build the biggest church or whatever – do it. Just be sure God has called you to it – and not something else like a desire to be known or something far less than God’s call. And in the meantime, work with what God has provided. Don’t wait until everything falls into place so you can shine. Obediently serve now so God can shine.
And if God hasn’t called you to write or build the biggest church or whatever – obediently do what He has called you to do. Because that is the best thing you can do. You may not change a lot, but you can be part of God changing a life. And that’s awesome. Well done, good and faithful servant.
Director of Church Health, the Free Methodist Church in Canada