“My Father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it?” (2 Kings 5:13).
As a preacher, I have met those who seem to get excited about doing some “big thing.” If the church passed out material at the Billy Graham crusade, setting forth the true plan of salvation, they would be there. If there was some pro-life march going on in town, they would be there. If there was a gathering of Christians in the nation’s capital holding signs which proclaimed marriage between a man and a woman, they would want to be there.
However, I have seen some of these same ones very negligent in the “little things”. In truth, such seems to bore them.
Here is an illustration: Some are ever looking for some exciting program to be in place to reach the lost. Yet, they do very little to try to reach the people they know. They travel air, land and sea to do mission work. Yet, they never speak of Christ to their family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. They wait for the elders to put a system into place to reach the community. Yet, they fail to realize that God has already has a system in place. It is each Christian being like salt and light to others around him (Matthew 5:13-16), and quietly working within his sphere of influence (Matthew 13:33; 1 Timothy 2:1-2). Remember how Andrew brought Simon to the Lord (John 1:40-42), and Philip brought Nathaniel (John 1:43-46).
Do not get me wrong. I am not opposed to “big things”. I have no problem with the use of: mass media (radio, TV, internet, newspapers, billboards); city-wide campaigns (mass mailing, door-knocking); foreign mission trips; Gospel meetings, etc.
However, my personal experience is that most of my conversions in the United States have come from the “little things”. A member of the church has a family member, friend, coworker or neighbor. This member is concerned about that person. The member sets up a home Bible study and asks me to teach it, or help teach it. This is not as flashy as doing “something big”. However, it is very effective.
In some ways it may be more comfortable to do the “big things”. Typically, such involves strangers. While reaching out to a family member, friend, coworker, or neighbor involves someone you know and have a relationship. However, if we love them shouldn’t we reach out to them?
Think about the following passages: “those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4); “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9); “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it give light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” [(Matthew 5:13-18) Note: John Shannon once put it this way: We are hens expected to lay eggs. If we don’t lay, it is off the Campbell Soup factory!]; “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles… they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” [(1 Peter 2:12) It is the “little things” being emphasized here]; “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” [(1 Corinthians 10:31) It is the “little things” that are in view here]. “…by this time you ought to be teachers…” (Hebrews 5:12)
Let us each try to reach someone this year. “Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20). “He who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).
“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinary.”