Read time: 3m 10s
Why do one thing? Why not do…at least two?
One of my favorite things about God’s works is that God is never doing just one thing. His grace is full of wisdom. As Charles Spurgeon said, “Sovereignty has servants everywhere.” Or, as Paul wrote, “God works all things together for good.” (Rom 8:28) I have NO idea how this works! But I love it. “In the economy of grace, nothing is wasted.” (R. Rohr)
We can rest everything in His hands because we know that He knows what He is doing.
Not: “I know what He is doing.” I don’t. He knows what He is doing. And I can be happy in that. No, I do not know how this accident, that delay, this struggle, does anything good. But someday. Someday, when my scope is widened and my lenses are cleaned. Perhaps then I’ll see. And even if then I don’t see-see, I’ll at least see that, well, there’s nothing to worry about. Not with this God. And there never was.
God’s always up to so—SO—many things. Everything is part of a plan. Everything is being worked. Everything fits. We hand Him our lemons, and He makes it into—not just lemonade—but a feast!
But we are not like God. We go into a project and we think about one thing: the project. That’s what matters! Or we think about the people and forget about the project. They’re what matters! Or we focus on the work itself. That’s what matters! Or we focus on ourselves. What I want is what matters!
God’s grace is too wise for such specialization. He is not only concerned with us. Or only our work. Or only our team. Or only our project. But all of these things (and more than we can imagine).
Now, we do not have God’s capacity. We have a limited capacity. Multi-tasking is a myth. It doesn’t exist, for humans. So it’s too much to ask us to do all these things in a godlike way. But what we can do is review our ministry with questions shaped by God’s gracious wisdom: What all is God up to? What all does He want us to attend to? What else would be cool here? We don't want to get sucked into a fixation; we want to stay open to the various gracious purposes of God in everything.
First, we’re trying to accomplish something: our purpose. Great! How are we doing? Are we effective? How do we measure that? How could we improve?We should be eager to do what we do better. If we believe in what we’re trying to do, then let’s do it as well as we can.
Second, we’re shepherding the people closest to us: our team. If we’re able to accomplish anything, it’ll be because of the team God has given us. How are they? Do they feel cared for, excited, hopeful? Do they have life troubles that require extra care? Are they working too much? Are they being honored? Over and above all our ministry-work is Jesus’ disciple-making call. Are we making disciples…of our teammates? If not, then the ministry is poised for catastrophic failure.
Third, we’re ministering within a matrix of local-church ministries: our community. I’m not working just so my ministry succeeds; I’m a part of this bigger thing that my ministry’s success will help to succeed: “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.” How could my ministry serve the other ministries? Could my ministry offer them a place to minister? Cross-pollinate. Weave. Brace.
Key question: “What would be cool?” That is, there’s a minimum effective dose, a baseline “done.” Okay, great. Getting there is hard work and a genuine accomplishment.
But. What would be cool? How could we strengthen our team? How could we strengthen the church? Who could we bless or honor in profound ways?
Grace is eager to tumble over into some else’s lap, put a smile on another face, wipe more tears, and link up a few more arms. At least two, because…because Grace.
(Also: Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash)