When my Grandmother was up in years, she also stayed “up” on ministry—serving others, that is. If you walked into the church where she served, you wouldn’t see a plaque on the wall in her honor. You wouldn’t see her name displayed in the bulletin. You would think she played an insignificant role in the significant mission of the church. But you would be wrong.
Every week my Grandmother gathered with others for the grand work of stuffing the bulletin. If you’re unfamiliar with that role of prominence, then ask yourself the next time you’re in a church service, I wonder how that welcome card and other flyers got in the bulletin now in my possession? Many of the notable contributions in life are recognized only when they are missing.
When my Grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and became home bound, she shifted from the ministry of bulletins to the ministry of prayer. She would work her way through the church directory on a weekly basis and call people to ask how she could pray for them, and then she would . . . right there on the phone.
The reason I share these fond memories with you is because I want you to see how indispensable every person is in the Body of Christ. We all have a role to fill, a ministry to serve, and a task to complete. And without you fulfilling your charge, the grander charge of the overall mission of the church will suffer.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in Life Together,
“In a Christian community everything depends upon whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain. Only when even the smallest link is securely interlocked is the chain unbreakable. A community, which allows unemployed members to exist within it, will perish because of them. It will be well, therefore, if every member receives a definite task to perform for the community, that he may know in hours of doubt that he, too, is not useless and unusable. Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of fellowship” (Life Together, 94).
In the world’s eyes, my Grandmother was weak, but through the weakest among us, we discover our strength. “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). We need one another, and we all need to be “employed” in “a definite task to perform for the community.” No one is useless and unusable. The Apostle Paul said it best: “On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensible” (1 Corinthians 12:22).
Hear me in this: YOU are wanted. YOU are needed. Your Christian community depends upon even the smallest link being securely interlocked so that the chain is unbreakable. Too many churches are breaking and perishing, because we leave the ministry to the “professionals” who are more than happy to receive accolades for a job well done. But a job well done is praise given ultimately by the Master for faithfulness in the little things as well as the so-called “grand” (Luke 19:17).
Like my Grandmother, is it time for you to be “up” on ministry as well?