Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010

"His lord said to him, Well done, good and true servant: you have been true in a small thing, I will give you control over great things: take your part in the joy of your lord." Matthew 25:23

This is the age of the 24/7, 365 news cycle so everyone is looking for the next big personality and the next spectacular story. It is understandable in a medium that must draw ratings to survive (unless you are CNN or MSNBC).

But often lost in this are the people who really make America work and who are the genius of America's greatness. These are the millions who do the right things for the right reasons every day. Their faithfulness in the "small things" form the backbone of our culture. Maybe they are unnoticed by the mass media but not by the people who benefit from their dependability.

Perhaps you are one of these dependable "go to" people and wonder if anyone notices or who cares. If you are wondering whether it is worth it I have good news for you! According to our verse for this morning, God notices small things done well! (He also keeps track of the things done wrong!)

The Bible is replete with stories of "back bench" people who just showed up every day and did small things well.

My favorite is Andrew. He was one of the disciples who didn't get much notice but the few times he shows up in the New Testament he is bringing someone to Jesus.

It was Andrew who brought his brother, Peter to Jesus. Peter became an essential player in the establishment of the Church. It was Andrew who brought the little lad with the lunch to Jesus. Five loaves of bread and two fish - a simple lunch and a small act of generosity "hooked up" by Andrew. Remember how that turned out? Miraculous!

Over nearly forty years serving in local churches I have developed a profound appreciation for those servants who labor in obscurity doing those tasks that no one else wants to do but are essential to the function of the church. While most never get the notoriety they deserve, Jesus notices and He keeps track. Without those choice servants there would be no great churches like Saddleback or Crystal Cathedral or Willow Creek or First Baptsit of Atlanta, or Spotswood or Parkway Wesleyan - or FredWes. Apart from those scores of unheralded heroes no one would have heard of Rick Warren, or Dr. Schuller, or Bill Hybels, or Joel Osteen, or Charles Stanley, or Andy Stanley - or, you name it.......
Think about it, some unknown person changed Charles Stanley's diaper in a church nursery somewhere in Southern Virginia. Someone told Bible stories to Rick Warren and helped him fall in love with Jesus. You have no idea what God will do in the lives of those you care for or teach Sunday after Sunday that you sacrifice your opportunity for worship in order to minister to them.
Here's what I know about faithful servants in a local church. The secret service saints ministering in the shadows do more to make churches great and pastors successful than the other way around. So, here is my tribute to those of you who serve!
I love you! I appreciate you! I know the value of what you do! And to a much greater extent - so does God!