When it comes to following God and living out his mission for our lives, there are obstacles that we have to overcome in order to live out this mission. Sometimes we create these obstacles ourselves, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and other times there are obstacles that we run up against. Whatever the case may be, we all have to overcome them in order to live out the mission that God has called us all to which is to be ambassadors of his message of reconciliation. We are to to be disciples of Jesus and participate in the making of disciples of Jesus.
One of the main obstacles that can be seen in our culture is that of ordinary vs. extraordinary. Our culture praises the extraordinary. We lift up heroes and celebrities to great heights because they have done big things. Because of this, we want to do big things as well. We want to new ministry effort to reach hundreds and thousands of people. In order to do this, we shoot for the moon and try to do great and extravagant things right out of the gate. Most people, however, fail to reach hundreds and thousands of people. There are a few people who are in the right time and the right place to make a huge impact, but that usually comes with an attitude of being an ordinary person.
I was struck by this when watching the documentary that came with Monuments Men movie. We look back and see these men and women as extraordinary people who put their lives on the line to save priceless works of art. We should be exceedingly grateful to them because they preserved priceless and irreplaceable pieces of history. When they talk about themselves, however, they saw themselves as ordinary people doing the job they were called on to do. We could take this farther and say that most people who belong to what we call “The Greatest Generation” merely saw themselves as ordinary people doing what was needed.
We ought to do the same when accepting the call that God has placed on his people. We are an ordinary people called to be faithful in the ordinary things of life. Sometimes this leads to extraordinary things, but other times this leads to “ordinary” results. The truth is, however, that one life changed because we lived out God’s mission is an extraordinary result.
God may be calling you to big things, but that call starts by being faithful in the little things. In the parable of the talents we see the master giving more responsibility to the faith servants. “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” 1 When it comes to living out the mission of God, we live under the call to be faithful with a few things first. When trying to live out the mission of making disciples don’t start by thinking big, think about how you can be faithful by being a disciple and making disciples where you are. Be faithful in your home, your neighborhood, your work and the places that you frequent.
Instead of looking at the big picture and being overwhelmed, make a short list of family, friends, or neighbors who you can start loving on an everyday basis.