Imagine a small spread out church, a few kids playing soccer in the courtyard, and one or two on a small play set. At the entrance adjacent to the street, young adults are using a microphone and waving bandannas to invite the passers by to come join a kids program that is starting now.
Sometimes it’s easy to try to determine the value of something by a particular characteristic. We’ll think a party is a success if the guests stay late, a class in school was worth it if we receive the grade we wanted. If we get a large amount of applause after a performance we feel that determines our talent. It’s easy to do this same thing with ministry.
As people, many times we look for specific numbers of participants, decisions for Christ, or a positive response from the pastors or thanks from the ones we are serving. While these things are well and good, I know that God does not measure in these terms. Our time serving in Quito so far has been a refreshing reminder of this. The fruits we have seen may not be the kind we often look to reap, but they have been just as sweet, or sweeter, none the less.
Today I had the privilege of serving on the teaching team for the kids program. We had drastically lower numbers of attendance than what we expected and prepped for. It was a particularly important day because we were presenting the salvation message. Instead of this being a negative thing, God redeemed it and allowed us to spend more one on one time with each child.
Many of the kids came from Catholic backgrounds – we had the opportunity to explain to them, many for the first time, that they needed to make a personal decision for Christ. We were able to talk to them about the true premise of salvation: God’s forgiveness and the need for grace apart from baptism, good works, or familial association.
This opportunity led to six, genuine, self determined decisions for Christ! I would choose these few, authentic choices over a hundred other meaningless or peer driven prayers any day. It was an honor to witness the simple, heartfelt prayers of these children and the joy on their faces when they finished.
This lesson is a good one to take home. Often we can feel an obligation to produce certain results. We may feel that what we do everyday for God is not enough, it isn’t making the impact we’d like to see, or that we are not a force for Christ because the ministry we are doing is encapsulated in our daily lives. But when we are faithful – simply do what God is asking us to do, seemingly trivial or not – we are making great strides for the kingdom.
By simply choosing to live in faithfulness to what God has given us to do we are a success in His eyes. He is the One who is the most faithful and will bring about the results that really matter.