I’m one of those people who, when given an idea or opportunity, pull a Geronimo and go ‘charge!’ headlong into it. I’m either so interested in a thing that it becomes an obsession or I want nothing to do with it. If you know me and are trying to be nice you might say I ‘care too much’. If you’re going for accuracy you might say I become ‘over invested’.
You know anyone like that ? Yeah, I’m one of those. I apologize on behalf of myself and those like me for the annoyance we have caused, and I understand why you want to hide when I show up with that ‘I mean business’ look on my face. Advice: when I am that way, act interested and sneak off when I’m not looking. It’s likely that I won’t even notice.
Though this tendency is still in me, and it often grabs hold before I notice, it used to be worse. I used to be on fire to do very big things and would tend to make everything I was involved in way too complicated. Over-engineering had me at work, at home, and at church. The face palms I give myself are endless, especially as I consider the time I wasted planning big forests that never got planted because I thought it too trivial just to plant one tree.
And that’s the point of this blog post. I’m not the only one who wants a great big forest when all that is needed at the moment is a tree or two. We perceive a need among people in our church, and instead of just filling the need we get to work designing a ministry to FULFILL THE NEED. Or maybe we just complain about the way the ministry isn’t being met. Either way, there the need sits right in front of us, just waiting for a little prayer and some personal attention, and yet it remains unmet because we’re too busy planning an epic need fulfillment program that may never even get off the ground.
God used a boy named David and a slingshot to kill a giant. God used Gideon, a few pots, and some torches to destroy a whole army. If he decides to use you as a minister of grace, it will probably be more effective through a one-on-one relationship and some of your time than through some grandiose Tower of Babel that you took forever to plan and build.
At my present stage in life, I consider my own personal ministry to be too big whenever I stop thinking of the recipients by name and start thinking of them as “attenders” measured by numbers. I didn’t always think like this, and who knows what I’ll believe tomorrow… but for right now I’m ready to plant one tree at a time so long as God wants to use me that way.
What do you think?