Together we worshiped the Lord this morning. Just the three of us. Jesus, her, and me. I’d hoped that others would be there, planned on others being there, but when the big hand was on the ten and the little hand on the twelve, my hope merged with reality. Today, we kept it small. Today, it boiled down to just Jesus, her, and me. Jesus, my daughter, and me. And we didn’t let it dampen our enthusiasm. Instead, we kept doing what we’ve been doing for nearly two years now…
having Sunday School on the second floor of our church.
Some might ask, “Why bother? Why plan and prepare for ten when only one or two show up on a regular basis? Why the investment of energy and prayers and late night runs for supplies to supplement a lesson plan already burgeoning with abundance? Why sow largely into such smallness?”
Reasonable questions. On occasions, questions I’ve asked myself. But each time I do, I cycle back around to the only reasonable answer.
The church belongs to me, and I belong to the church.
When I became a Christian, I signed on to God’s investment plan—sowing his kingdom seed into the lives of those within reach. I don’t get to choose the conditions for that reach. My only obligation is to make sure that I continue to stretch my arms and release God’s heart into the hearts of those who sit beneath my influence. It matters not the size of the audience; what matters is my faithfulness to God’s calling for my life—to know God and then, out of that knowing, to lead others to know the same.
It takes a while to arrive there… to get comfortable with the parameters of God’s choosing. Two years ago, I would have told you that there was little room in my agenda for small investments. Two years ago, I was focused on larger parcels of land. Two years ago, I wasn’t prepared for a Sunday morning of just Jesus, her, and me. But today, it is enough—just Jesus, her, and me.
Today, I see more clearly than I saw two years ago. Pain, suffering, and loss have a way of tempering large notions. Pain, suffering, and loss have a way of sharpening personal perspective, shedding personal ambitions, and shaping a heart for effective ministry. It doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes pain, suffering, and loss foster opposite understanding. But as for me, my pain, suffering, and loss have taught me the great lesson of reduction.
He must become more; I must become less.
For in that lesser estate, the greatness of God is revealed. And whenever the greatness of God is revealed, then heaven’s work goes on as planned. Even in a Sunday School classroom when it’s just Jesus, her, and me.
The church belongs to me, and I belong to the church. The church belongs to you, and you belong to the church. Whether you sow in largeness or in smallness this week, sow generously and sow always in the loving name of the Lord. God measures your kingdom influence not by numbers but rather by your faithfulness to minister to those numbers. Even when it’s just Jesus, her, and you.
Even so, keep to it. As always…
Peace for the journey,
PS: This is the song we’ve been singing in our small Sunday School class… and our worship just as pure, relevant, and wonderful as theirs–a crowd of thousands!