OK, I’m getting ready to ramble a little – this may not be deep, but here it goes anyway.
Sometimes the smallest things we do as leaders is what makes the biggest difference. Recently, I was given a gently push in a different direction by another leader as I was serving as a leader on a college campus.
At first, my insecurities and defenses came to the surface (as usual), until I realized that we were on the same team and that we both possessed the desire for what is best and most effective in our attempts to be good pastors to those entrusted to our care.
As a pastoral leader, I not only have the gifts of teaching and preaching, but I also have the gift of administration. The combination of these gifts are a huge help to me and to others as I serve. However, sometimes I get consumed with administration and neglect other important elements of whom God is calling me to be. Sometimes in my concern for program design and efficiency in taking care of the details that get overlooked, I forget one of our core values as a ministry team – that we value people over programs.
After a difficult week of self doubt, discouragement, questioning my call, and even at times feeling like a failure, God waited until the end of this week to encourage me. As I spent time doing the “people part” of my job, not just the administrative parts, God opened my eyes and enabled me to see what ministry was really all about. His love for people, and desire to love through me is the central element of ministry. He also reminded me of how much of a joy it is to talk to people and be a listening ear – I LOVE doing that! But again, administration is a beast sometime.
After countless conversations with the university students that God has trusted me to support this week and a few emails from students expressing how helpful it is to them that I reach out to them, I started to get what God was trying to help me see. As I reached out and just took moments to talk, listen, pray for, and physically walk with individuals this week, it wasn’t hard for me to do, I did it because I cared. But then a light finally came on for me and I realized that the small things that we do in supporting others is not always so small to the recipients.
This week, God taught me one of the most important lessons (yes the lights finally came on for me) that I believe leaders and all others need to grasp – and that is that small acts of kindness and support go a long way and make a bigger difference than it seems. Stick with it!
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58).