AND WHO IS IMPORTANT

Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

1 Corinthians 4:2


As a part of a group of ministers gathered for discussion and prayer, I found the subject of “Significant Ministries” quite interesting. I was intent on discovering what might be helpful to my own ministry. Suddenly, it dawned on me that the entire focus was on large churches with broad outreach ministries. I began to endeavor to put smaller churches into such programs and found the situation with no easy answers. I felt compelled to speak to the occasion.

“Gentlemen! I would like to share with you about a pastor who has plodded in tough circumstances for twelve years. His congregation numbers between 50 and 60. There is another pastor friend who drives 120 miles each direction on a Sunday to minister to 35 or less people. Still another plugs away in the same community after 11 years with less that 45 people. I could continue concerning another 8 or 10 who plods on in small communities with a handful of people. I consider these men and their ministries significant.”

Another brother spoke quickly: “I accept your rebuke in the loving spirit with which it has been presented. We do have a hard time keeping things in perspective on a subject such as this.”

The disciple of Christ must be intent on being found in the place of God’s choosing, and doing the job with enthusiasm. The “bigness” or “smallness” of the entrustment is not what is important. “It is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.” (1 Corinthians 4:2 NASB)

When one takes into consideration the “importance” of an individual, I often point out the significance of the plumber or maintenance man at a hospital. If he fails to keep the system functioning, the Doctor is out of business. Preachers can be known for their abilities at opening the Scriptures, but let the custodian fail to remove the dust or dirt from a church and watch how quickly the pews remain empty for services. The unseen engineer at the radio station seldom wins applause, but without him, the radio programs remain on tapes or discs but never reach its prospective audience.

The spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 or Romans 12 are varied to adapt to our personalities. As an illustration, I use the gift of hospitality; properly exercised, it is equally important to other gifts.

James has much to say on the subject; note how he addresses it and let us learn the importance of respecting each other as equals in the Work of the Lord.

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