All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you. (Colossians 1:6, NIV)
Christians had gathered from all over the world to spend a week worshiping, talking, and learning together. And I had spent the entire week there in a publisher’s booth selling one particular product: our new hymnal. Every little feature of that product, every detail of the booth, was my life for those days.
Then on the last day, with lighter crowds, I wandered around a bit and saw some of the other exhibits. Right there across the aisle from me was the world missions area. Walking through, I got a glimpse of the desperate needs in so many world areas. I saw display after display of the world’s great cities, and I thought of all the needy millions crammed into each of them.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the details and mechanics of our own little area of ministry. And let’s be honest: at times our concerns revolve too much around how that ministry impacts our own interests. We forget the needs of people, which is the real reason the ministry exists.
With all that in mind, I was approached by a former missionary who was hosting the display. Seeing my name, he commented on a publication I had helped produce years before. He relayed how useful it had been in his work on the mission field.
As he spoke, I thought immediately of new projects I was working on. I realized that God would be able to use them to touch the lives of others, if I stayed focused on Him and on the needs of His people.
I came away with a desire to do a better job right where I am. I don’t need a broader field of service. I need a broader vision of His work here where He has placed me.
Our ministries are only a tiny part of the overall picture, but they matter. We need to stay faithful to Him and focused on Him with each task He places before us. Somewhere that task will make a difference in the lives of people. Somewhere are needs He intends to meet through us today.
God designed our individual spiritual gifts and
roles in the Church to be
small and specialized.
Yet He calls us to
a perspective on the Church that is
broad and all-encompassing,
taking in the entire eternal purpose of God.
Hymn: Beyond All Barriers