A Big World With Big Problems
Our solar system is a big place – 93 million miles from one end to the other and eight planets, each with their unique climates and characteristics. The planet we inhabit is a big place – seven continents, 195 countries, thousands of people groups with their own diverse cultures, languages, and foods. Do any amount of travelling outside of North America, and you will quickly discover how vast the world really is.
Of course, our big planet does not come without its problems. Living in a vast world with such big problems like global hunger, poverty, international conflict, war, not to mention a pandemic, how can one person possibly make a difference?
Living in a vast world with such big problems like global hunger, poverty, international conflict, war, not to mention a pandemic, how can one person possibly make a difference?
Having been a pastor for twenty-four years, I have often asked myself this question: How can the church make a difference in a huge world with such big problems? How can one Christian impact a huge world with so many massive problems? Certainly, I am a firm believer in the power of God to bring change and transformation in the lives of those who put their faith and trust in him, daily committing themselves to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. But there have been times in my life as a Christ-follower that I have wondered if my small, individual efforts could really bring healing and hope to a world of so many insurmountable issues.
Dream Big Or Serve Small?
So, I felt it was important to educate myself, gain more knowledge, and learn new leadership skills and strategies. Major national conferences often feature mega-church pastors who are doing remarkable things for the kingdom, like mobilizing organizations and servant leaders ready to respond wherever the need is greatest and the circumstances are most dire.
Hearing their stories and how they are making a difference around the world is inspiring. It encourages and compels me to lead more effectively, serve more intentionally, and care more compassionately. Mega-church ministries and larger-than-life leaders inspire us to do better and have a bigger impact. They urge us to dream big and step outside of our comfort zones, engage in new opportunities, and envision new ministries.
However, the reality is that many of us are not part of a mega-church or an international organization. When faced with planet-sized problems, we sometimes despair and simply give up hope of having any impact at all. Yes, all of us, from time to time, even pastors, are prone to say: “I don’t have that gift, so what can I do?” or “We don’t have that kind of budget, so what can we do?” Ever heard a Christian brother or sister say that? Ever said or thought that yourself? When faced with overwhelming global challenges, we are quick to throw up our hands and cry: “God, the problems are just too big! What can I do?!”
When we stop long enough to listen, I believe God responds to our cries for help with global issues and pandemics and our prayers of weakness and desperation with two simple words: Serve small. I believe God is calling his people, the church – each and every believer on the planet – to begin serving right where they are in very modest and simple ways.
God responds to our cries for help with global issues and pandemics and our prayers of weakness and desperation with two simple words: Serve small
As men, when faced with challenges, we want to do something and contribute to the building up of God’s kingdom on earth. I believe God is calling us to serve in small ways and begin making a difference in the life of one person or one family, one act of kindness at a time.
Rather than despairing and being frozen by fear over what we cannot do, particularly now during a global pandemic, let’s start by praying. Let’s pray for God to show us how to serve small right now in our marriages, our own families, our church families, and our communities.
When we offer to God what we have and reach out to help others in simple, humble acts of service, blessings that make a difference will follow. Overwhelmed by global issues? Losing hope when hearing about the spread of COVID-19? Serve small and watch God’s Spirit begin to do a work of transformation in others and in you as well.