One year ago, my wife Jessica and I made the transition from one church to another. The church we were leaving had been our home the last 12 years. It was the place where our spiritual gifts, individually and collectively, developed and flourished. In our time there, Jessica became the nursery director, and I led a Sunday Bible study.
Small groups were our passion
We had envisioned hosting married couples, of all stages of life, where friendships would be strengthened and relationships grew. The small group would meet monthly and continue for three years. We were blessed to experience God’s grace during this time. We were able to witness first-hand answered prayers for adoptions, restorations and transformation.
The So Easy Transition
We knew the transition would not be an easy walk, as we were leaving friendships behind. Jessica and I understood that wherever God led, we would not sit idle for long. Within two months at our new church, we joined a small group, served on the greeter ministry and volunteered in the kid’s ministry.
A month ago, we were asked to lead a small group. While we were excited about the opportunity, we needed to spend time in prayer. There was a slight hesitation, as we would be “leaving” our small group to start another. We both longed to host again, and after praying, we said “yes” to the opportunity.
The idea of being blessed with a spiritual gifts and not using them is something we agreed we would not do. We are humbled that God gifted us to minister to a small group. First, our Father entrusts all saints with gifts, and then God provides the place to use those gifts for his glory.
Be Diligent in the Small Tasks
So many people we talk to want to make a difference. They commonly think they are destined for great things. We appreciate their desire and eagerness to achieve big things, but they often are discouraged when their current ministry is lacking—family, relationships, finances and the list goes on. Our advice to them is look around and appreciate the current place God has set for you to use the gifts. Become diligent in the small things before you are entrusted with more.
In Ephesians 4: 11-12, we read that all saints are equipped for works. In examining this Scripture, the word ‘equip’ draws my attention. Equip is defined as supplying a need for a particular purpose. When believers understand they are either equipping or being equipped for the purpose of building up and reaching unity in faith, the ministry work should have a sense of urgency.
“And it was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Keep that thought in your mind the next time you’re asked to be a part of a ministry or lead a small group. While the time commitment may be difficult or an inconvenience, your purpose should be to edify the believers to unity in faith. One is playing a part, big or small, in edifying your brother/sister in Christ.
Your ministry workers covet your prayers. Think of ways you can encourage them. Remember the purpose is to build up and reach unity in faith. Church demographics are shifting. So, let’s encourage each other to put the socio-economics, cultural backgrounds and political affiliations aside and remain focused on reaching and helping others become like the “stature of Christ.”