Thursday, July 26, 2007

Don't Spurn the Small Stuff

The auditorium was jammed with thousands of eager listeners. The woman on the platform was a high-profile speaker. Her books and other resources filled three tables in the foyer and much of it had already been snapped up by her fans.

I too was eager to listen. I wanted to hear about Jesus. But it did not appear that I was going to get what I wanted that night. I confess I had a skeptical attitude as I watched her begin her presentation. So when she started to rant about how the men of her church had tried to hold her back, I got more than a little irritated. But it was when she made a statement about her previous ministry that I got angry. She said, “If I had listened to them I’d still be back there teaching six people in a tiny living room instead of up here on this stage teaching thousands.”

I felt like screaming. I was one of the many – probably a large percent of that audience – who were teaching six people, sometimes four or even two, in a tiny living room. Did that not count? Was my ministry a waste of time because it wasn’t broadcast on cable T.V.? Was this high-profile woman more valuable as a teacher of the gospel than I was because she was reaching thousands?

It seems our culture would answer yes, but I don’t believe Jesus would. He chose a small isolated country in which to make his first appearance. The synagogues in which he spoke were usually small. His close group of disciples numbered only twelve. He never once appeared on T.V.

I confess there have been times when I’ve wished for more of an audience. When I received an e-mail from a friend on the mission field telling me she had fifty women turn out for her Bible Study, I was jealous and even thought, “Lord, what am I doing here?”

But then I went to my Bible Study. The hostess was a recent widow and often expressed her gratitude that we always met in her home so she didn’t have to drive at night. Another woman was having serious struggles in her marriage and said it was that tiny group that kept her from walking away from the church and from God. Another was a brand new Christian, still in awe of what the Bible said and of this amazing God named Jesus Christ.

I came home that night and thanked Him for the privilege of meeting with those women each week, to learn about the scriptures with them and from them, to share what God was saying to me and what He was doing in my life, to listen to what He was saying to them and doing in their lives.

I’ve repented of my anger at that high-profile speaker. God is undoubtedly working His will in and through her. Perhaps she is where God has put her. And I am content in knowing that I am where God has put me – in a small town, a small church, a small Bible Study group. I pray that I will never ever spurn the small stuff.

1 comment:

Lorrie said...

Marcia, I can identify so well. We can get so caught up in numbers instead of with people. But God calls each of us to minister in different ways - sometimes I have a hard time accepting that.