One of the interesting things I’ve noted over the years is how large projects often fail over simple choices by the “least” members of the group. Or by the “greater” members of the group failing to include these “least” into the work of the ministry.
Yes it is healthy to see myself as the “least” but then go out yielding the little I have to see what God can do through a yielded “least-one” like me. If I accept my “leastness” I often wallow in it in order to excuse not trying. “My part doesn’t count anyways, God will accomplish his will even if I don’t do my part”.
Being “least” is not a disqualifier for service but an absolute prerequisite. If I feel that I am the least–then I am qualified! Not many mighty not many strong are chosen. For I have this treasure in a vessel of clay that others might glory in the treasure and not in the vessel. Those who SEEM to be the least are MUCH MORE necessary than those who seem to be much.
Examples: Sitting in the back pews at church. “You don’t understand, I’m shy or depressed or have a bad bladder or children to watch or I like watching the others or I am saving the front for others. What would you think of this kind of behavior at a ball game or concert? You’d think the participants were not into what was happening and did not see it as important. It’s not just the attitudes which cause us to sit in the back but also the resistant independent attitudes of not responding when pastors ask us to move up and sit closer together. Recently my pastor asked people at a Wednesday meeting to move up and together and, as usual, no one moved! Contrary to my shy nature I stood up and said that it was my firm belief that this simple “small choice” is what is destroying the impact of the church in America. I was told to shut up and not be so radical. (Not by the pastor but by a deacon).
People are asked to go calling and one in ten shows up. We do better than the liberals at paying tithe but where they are at 2 % we might be at 10 percent of people who pay thithe. God gets a tithe of his tithe! We only smile at those we know and shake hands limply or totally ignore the others. We used to get up for Easter sunrise services and now we won’t even get up for Sunday school if it is at 9. We are too shy to pray out loud in Sunday school and won’t share what God has been doing in our lives. We think that all of these choices don’t count much because they are “little”.
It is the “little” foxes that spoil the vines, a “little” folding of the hands a “little” laying in bed that brings poverty, a “little” fly makes the ointment stink.
In addition to thinking that the loss of my “little” part will make no difference, I fear that if we step out, since I am little I will stand alone and be destroyed and make no difference. The whole world saw and admired the one man who stopped a row of Chinese tanks in Tiananmen square those many years ago. For God sought for one man to stand in the gap and the city was lost because he found none. Ezekiel 22:30
The good news is, God uses little old you and me if we will stand up. My daughter Cheri has 7 children and very limited time and finances and yet is one of the best known women in the creation movement doing the little she can from her home computer. TOOL: Instead of saying:
What can I do? Instead: What can I do?
Who am I that God should use me? Instead: Here am I send me!
What do I have to do God’s work with? Instead: What is in my hand? Let me cast it down take it up and let it be God’s. As with Moses and the rod of God.
Who have I to support my endeavors? Instead: Thank you for those you have put in my life now help me to reach out to them and with them.