Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Ministry of the Little Things

Just got back from my mother's memorial service. It went off very nice, by the way. The most tearful moments came when Grandma saw my mother's picture in the front of the church. We knew that was going to be tough.

But the people of my dad's church were very gracious. Sometimes we forget about the ministry of the little things. There were people there who never even met my mother, but they came because they knew my dad, and because they made au gratin potatoes or a pasta salad for the event. Things like that don't just happen. They take planning and work, and then more work to clean up. I appreciate everything these people did.

The church is a small one, and more people attended than perhaps they expected. During the meal that followed the service, I saw the pastor of the church grab a sandwich while leaning against a door frame. In all the doctrinal differences of Christianity, it seems there are only two types of preachers. There are those who love the accolades, who love to be greeting and honored. These take their 'rightful place' near the front of the line, and grab one of the best spots for themselves. Then there are the kind who run around and see that everyone else is taken care of. They eat last, of whatever remains, often standing in a doorway if the chairs are taken. I have a lot of respect for the second group. My husband (also a pastor) and I share this view of the ministry.

Mark 10:42-45
42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

There are no perks to the ministry. There are no accolades. There's only service, and that service can be hard, with little thanks ever given. Sometimes all you get for your labor and prayer is a good kick in the teeth. But God sees everything. So my prayer for today is that God sends a special blessing on everyone who labored in our behalf, and all of his servants that minister in the little things.


  1. Thank you for this, Barb. I'm so glad that the service went well. God bless you for your generosity of spirit and for sharing your feelings here today.

  2. The gentleness of spirit that both you and your husband possess comes through very clearly in this post. One thing I know that I will be greeted with each time I visit is the fact that the each member of your church truly has a servant's heart. Although small in number and far from the lime light in town, the humble spirit of the congregation is heard loud and clear.

  3. That is a very lovely tribute. I know that past few months have been draining on you. It sounds like it was a very lovely, respectful service.