I have friends who are prophets, evangelists, pastors, ministers, and teachers doing great things for God. Some of them travel internationally preaching and teaching the gospel. Others have started churches or ministries, and hold conferences, and a few of them have written books. They can preach to crowds and witness people accepting the Lord. I look online and see speakers and preachers doing big things for the Kingdom of God. Extraordinary people are paid to speak, preach, and teach. All these people's ministries seem exciting compared to mine.
I attend a small church in western Maryland where I teach our weekly Bible study, preach a few times each year, and teach our monthly women’s group. My ministry dulls in comparison to the great works I see others doing for the Lord.
Have you ever felt as though you aren't producing fruit for God's kingdom on the same scale as some of your friends or the televangelists you see preaching on television? Are you a stay-at-home mom who's been busily and faithfully raising your children, keeping your home, and serving your husband and now feel as if you haven't done anything significant for God?
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The size of your platform isn't what makes you great.
“On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” (1 Corinthians 12:22)
No matter how you view yourself, you are necessary to the body of Christ. The stay-at-home mom who doesn't hold a leadership position in the church is just as essential as anyone else. The person teaching a class of ten people is just as necessary to the body of Christ as the one who teaches before thousands.
“But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” (Luke 22:26)
The key to greatness in the body of Christ isn't the size of your congregation, the title you hold, or how many books you've published. The key to greatness in the body of Christ is your willingness to serve in whatever capacity God ordained you to serve. Some people will serve on an international stage while others will serve in a local congregation. And yes, God is using men and women to raise a generation of godly children who will glorify God as adults. Raising godly children is a noble task and is considered great by God.
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However small your part, you are part of a greater work.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
When you’re completing the works God ordained for you, you are doing great things for Him. Imagine being assigned a task by God, but considering that task a common thing. I see this all the time in ministry, and I’ve been guilty of some of it myself:
Being given a soprano singing gift, but desiring to sing alto instead. Being given a teaching gift, but wanting instead to pastor. Being given a writing gift, but preferring to preach. Refusing to perform the works God ordained for us is irreverence. It's disrespectful, disobedient, and misses out on something greater.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
God is looking for faithful people who will be "...steadfast, immovable, always abounding..." in the work to which He has called them. There are still people who need to hear the Good News. People need to know healing and deliverance are in the scriptures. People need to know God loves and cares about them. And people need to be taught the truth of the Gospel. As I indicated earlier, some people will complete that work on a bigger platform than others, but their platform doesn't negate the work of those in the small, local church.
You were specially chosen for your role.
“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:4-5)
The person preaching before thousands and the stay-at-home mom are both members of the same body. Each person serves a purpose, and that includes you. If you've accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are a member of the body of Christ. All the members work in conjunction with the overall benefit of Christ's body. You are a team member, and God desires all team members to support and pray for one another. So, if you're comparing yourself to others, stop it!
“For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)
The great apostle Paul said he was the “least of the apostles” and wasn’t “fit to be called an apostle.” He went on to say, “..but by the grace of God I am what I am...” When we look at the great things other people are doing, we may see ourselves as less and unfit. That’s why comparing ourselves to others is so dangerous. Other people aren’t our competition. You are not less than anyone else. You’re not unfit. God called, chose, and anointed you for His glory.
When we stop comparing ourselves and declare along with Paul, "...I am what I am...", we'll fully embrace the purpose and plans God has for us. We'll stop focusing on what everyone else is doing and focus on doing all we can to glorify God, edify His people, and build His kingdom. All of us can contribute to those things in small and significant ways.
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You never know what he may call you to next.
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service.” (1 Timothy 1:12)
All Christians are servants or ministers of reconciliation (see 2 Corinthians 5:18). The only reason we're able to serve is because God considered us faithful. Thus, greatness isn't measured by the size of our platform. Greatness is God’s desire to use us regardless of whether we have a title, preach before thousands, write dozens of books, or receive invitations to speak anywhere. God trusting us with ministry is greatness.
I no longer consider my service an insignificant thing. I don't compare myself to my friends who are in ministry in a "greater" capacity. I'm focused on doing those things God called me to do. Further, I'm honored that God would use me in any position. I don't despise teaching and preaching at the small church I attend. I'm grateful and humbled for the opportunity. I now recognize that as long as I'm doing what He called me to do, I'm doing great things.
As long as you’re doing those things God called and ordained you to do, you too are doing great things for the Lord. Entrust those works to Him. Honor Him with them, and remain available for the Master’s use. The day may come when God requires more from you (see Luke 12:48).
Originally published Friday, 31 July 2020.