I must admit – I have easily been snared by the grass that looks greener, by the barn that seems fuller, by the ministry that appears better than what I have. I am easily deceived – but to what end? Green grass looks really good for the moment – but if it quickly fades to brown or is fed by a false substance, it is not sustainable. That full barn seems better to my eye, but what is it full of? And perhaps the important thing is – if I am the only one taking care of the barn, I need a size I can healthily maintain. And boy, that ministry appears better than mine. But perhaps they have labored through years of drought, discouragement, abandonment, and stayed faithful to bring it to the point it is today.
The reality is simple – at the end of the day all will fade and only Jesus will remain. And the ministry and our lives will be measured not by whether we had 5 or 50 or 500 – but with what we were entrusted with, were we good stewards? When I had 10 students – was I faithful to those 10? Did I disciple those 10? Did I love them unconditionally? Did I equip adults to disciple when I had 100 students? I will not be let off the hook for 10 nor for 100 – I will give an account for what I was entrusted with. And perhaps, the reality is I am not in a place to move beyond those God has placed in my flock currently – maybe God is trying to grab my attention?
Are you content in what God has entrusted you? Or do you strive for bigger and better because then you can really glorify God? The reality is if I can’t glorify God and be content in serving Him with the few – what makes me think having a lot of stuff would suddenly humble myself?
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” – Luke 12:15
In life or in ministry – be faithful with what God has given you
Whether you work full-time with students or are a volunteer – be faithful to those whom God has given you. It may look good having a lot but are you content and faithful and loving to the few? If there are three students you can fully invest in – it is worth so much more than nine that are split for your time. In your children’s life – be faithful, invest in them, pray for them, spend time with them. In your neighborhood – invest in the few around you, be faithful in what God has placed in front of you – big or small.
Pray for growth – with all humility and faith
Being faithful doesn’t mean settling for less. But let us humble ourselves before God – trusting in His time He will give or take away. Let us pray with faith that He will do great things through us. Sometimes we invest in the three so they can later invest in the many. If this is our role – let us be content. Or if we were invested in by the one to invest in many – let us be content.
I had a small group leader my first few years of high school – I have no idea where he is now. (I do creepily remember his house – I TP’d it a few times) But I am sure he had no idea that I would have the chance to speak the Gospel to a crowd of middle school students on Friday nights. And I pray God allows me to invest in a student who does beyond what I could ever dream or imagine – who will change the world for the sake of the Gospel.
In life, in ministry, don’t look at what the other guy has. Be content in Christ. No barn will ever be big enough, no name will be remembered…only Jesus!