” … You’re not looking for the big things, you’re looking for the day after day. You’re not looking for the flashy but the faithful ones…” Chris Burns, Faithful
Many times we confuse ministry for the stages, the big events, the packed out meetings, the music, the messages, etc. While these are sometimes a part of ministry, they in and of themselves are not the ministry the Lord has called us too. Here in Brasil, God is teaching me that ministry is being faithful in the little things, in the day after day living. Serving isn’t teaching a lesson, leading a group, or being in the front, most people can do all of those things. Teachers, preachers, and worship leaders are a dime a dozen. Serving is being willing to get your hands dirty by doing the difficult and undesirable. Serving is re-mopping the floor, with a smile, after someone once again dirtied the floor you worked hard to clean. Because everything that we do, EVERY SINGLE THING we must do as unto the Lord, both the things that others see and praise us for, and the things that no one will ever acknowledge.
I have been guilty too of thinking that ministry is glamorous. Yes, there are moments that one gets to see big and powerful, fun things, but those moments are ALWAYS preceded by the day after day little moments one gives their all to.
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” – Luke 16:10
Honestly, there is nothing glamorous about being a missionary. There is nothing fabulous about giving all one’s life to serve another. Don’t get me wrong, I am having a blast here. I love this country and all that I get to do here. But it isn’t about the flashy things and it isn’t flashy. Talking to a lady boy whose body is full of scars, on the streets while he tells me he wants bigger breasts isn’t flashy. Painting the dirty nails of a street worker while her next client looks on, isn’t glamorous. But we love, we do the hard work, we spend our energy, time and money and live our lives for others because God is worth it, and they are worth it too.
The cost of ministry is often far greater than the price we want to pay. We go into things expecting this Hollywood type of life in ministry with signs and wonder and miracles all over the place; when in reality the most successful ministers and ministries are the ones who’ve risked their lives, who’ve slept on dirt floors, who take cold showers, who have up-rooted their entire families to a different country, sell all their possessions and live simply out of obedience. They are the ones who hug the lepers and befriend the least of these, these are the ones who clean and prepare a feast for the prostitute, the transvestite, the widow, the fatherless, who love, and smile and press on when they’ve had little to no help, or have felt alone, rejected and misunderstood.
Jesus isn’t going to admonish us on the day we stand before Him about the amount of people who attended our meetings or enjoyed our music. He isn’t going to ask us about how many people we saw healed or prayed for. He is going is going to remind us about the ones we loved well, the ones we fed, clothed, visited and cared for.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” – Matthew 25:40
This is my new reality. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love learning how to be faithful in the day after day. Because the ultimate reward is Him. My reward isn’t in public recognition, fame, or even the praises of man. My eternal, ever lasting reward is the one who will stand before me and say ” Well done my good and faithful servant”.
And so I challenge you, live the day after day for the one who lived all of His days for you.
This is a 22 minute documentary on the issue of human trafficking here in Brasil. Some of my friends from here at Shores of Grace are featured in this documentary. It is worth your time, I recommend you take your time to watch.