If you’re in church ministry (you are if you do anything at your church besides just sit there) you are probably affecting the lives of others in a way you may never get to know. I hope sharing my experience will encourage you, that even when you have no proof that what you’re doing matters, it does.
As an adult who now serves in church in not-flashy, very ordinary ways, even for me who has been on the receiving end, it can be easy to wonder if our efforts will ever make a difference.
I don’t remember how old I was (10ish?) but for a while I rode a bus to church with my best friend. Most Saturday nights I would spend the night at her house and we would ride the bus to church on Sunday morning. Often, her mama would have spaghetti waiting for us when we rode the bus back home.
There were seeds planted then that took a while to bloom. I don’t remember the name of the church. I don’t remember the name of even one church worker. But the folks at that church impacted my life by putting the word of God before me in a turbulent time in my life.
Things I do remember: I remember that the people there were very kind. They looked at me with kind eyes and had sincere smiles. I remember that I was pretty sure their home life wasn’t a lot like mine. I had an alcoholic parent and things were rarely stable for any length of time in my home. I remember there were adults who seemed joyful (I wouldn’t have used that word then but I see it now.) I did get even then, that love for God probably motivated their bus driving and all the ways they served and showed kindness to me.
Those people never knew they impacted my life in any lasting way. I went to church there for a while and then just fell off the radar. They never knew much about me; but God used them in the story he was writing in my life. They never knew.
It wasn’t that we never went to church as a family, but it was inconsistent. When we did go to church together we never stayed until it became a church “home”. We visited a variety of churches of different denominations.
That was a long time ago; I’m 53. I have a church home now, and it’s a small church. In a small church everybody works, because it takes everybody doing something to keep things going.
Some folks teach Sunday school. Some folks drive the church van. Some fix things, others shop for the church, reorganize the pantry and keep things tidy. For VBS, most everyone has a role. Whether it is cooking and serving food, playing outside games, telling the Bible story….there are so many roles in which God might use you in a kid’s life.
You might never know if it made any difference at all.
Don’t be discouraged if that kid riding the bus or in your VBS group doesn’t remember your name or seem to open up to you in any way.
You may be just one part of what God is doing in someone’s life. But it all matters.
And the one who needs to know does. And one day you will see Him face to face. And that will be one sweet day.