What you do in your normal life, your everyday routine, is important to God. In our current church culture, we seem to focus on those who are doing “big” things for God. We praise those who can fill stadiums and church buildings, those who write books and make music.
But when we give in to a celebrity culture, we lose the power of ordinary faithfulness. The power of the gospel is not communicated most clearly in a stadium of 20,000. It is communicated most clearly when Christians live faithfully in their everyday lives.
You can make a huge difference for the kingdom of God, just by being faithful to love God and love your neighbor in your everyday life. Ordinary faithfulness cannot be measured, but the difference it makes is eternal. God has placed you in the family you have, the job you work and the community where you live for a purpose. You don’t have to be a televangelist, a musician or a politician to do meaningful kingdom work.
This is not to say we don’t need Christians who use their gifts to preach to huge crowds, to make God-glorifying music or to lead us politically. We need Christians in every sphere of life, but we must not take away the beauty and power of ordinary faithfulness and ordinary Christians.
The glory of the kingdom of God is you can make an eternal difference in your office, on the farm and in the school. God uses us where we are and with the gifts he has given to us. For instance, I pastor a small church in a town no one has ever heard of, but this church is an outpost of the kingdom of God, and here lives are changed eternally. In my church, there are men and women who are living faithful lives in their homes and in their jobs. They are faithful to God where he has planted them. You never will hear their names, but God knows them and he will honor their faithfulness.
Be who God has called
I long for the day when the church frees men and women to be whom God has called them and to be where God has planted them. The calling of the pastor and the church is to equip our people to do the work of the ministry. Churches must free people up to be faithful in their everyday lives.
We talk about men and women who have done “big” things and the “big” names of the faith from the past. They are great examples, but for many of us, we will not be known outside of our own ZIP code. Highlight those men and women in your congregation who serve God well day-in and day-out, who love their neighbor well day-in and day-out. Encourage them and challenge others to follow their example.
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For the holidays …
The holidays give us a great opportunity to live out this ordinary faithfulness. Reach out to those who have lost loved ones recently. Just send them a note or card or give them a phone call to let them know you are thinking about them. Make a visit to a widow or widower or invite them to your table to celebrate with your family. These aren’t huge gestures, but they are faithful ones.
We don’t have to do big things for God. We just have to be faithful where God has placed us and with the gifts God has given to us.
When all we do is celebrate the big and so-called Christian celebrities, we are telling others their ordinary lives don’t matter, and they should leave the world changing-ministry to others.
The truth is world-changing ministry happens around our dinner tables and in our coffee shops. World-changing ministry happens with life-long friendships and co-workers in the next cubicle.
God wants to use you right where you are to show his glory and grace to your family and to your community. Your everyday routine matters to God, because it is through your everyday routine you can be faithful to love God and love your neighbor. Be faithful in what God has given you and where God has placed you.
Be faithful in the ordinary.
Zac Harrel is pastor of First Baptist Church in Gustine, Texas.