My good friend Jason Sowell recently posted a blog post on State-lines.com that I have heard him say before but fits so perfectly with how I am feeling right now. In Ministry we often try to fall into the trap of trying to change the world or change the city by reaching as many people as we can with the gospel yet we miss a HUGE piece of the changing the world puzzle, Relationships. We focus on the big picture that we miss the needs of those right in front of us. He says it so good in this post that I thought I would share:
“I believe we all should be working for change. Change in the world for the better. I also, however, believe we get overwhelmed with the idea of changing the world because the world is too big for any one of us change. There are too many problems, too many needs, too many disasters and too many people. My philosophy is, stop trying to change the world and focus on the person in front of you everyday that you can help.
It may be a small thing. A simple thing. But, doing the small things is what ultimately changes the world. Imagine if we all focused on the small things every day that we could bring some change to. What would the world look like then? “
“Somaly Mam said it best. “I don’t feel like I can change the world. I don’t even try. I only want to change this small life that I see standing right in front of me, which is suffering.”
Want to make a difference? Start by making an impact in someone’s life.
Up until a few years ago I did ministry differently. I blogged, posted on social media, networked with children’s directors and pastors from all over the globe But I did it to make a name for myself. I wanted to be “popular” I wanted to have a lot of followers on Twitter, I wanted to speak at conferences. I was doing “new” “smart” and “creative” things and I felt like I needed to share it with the world. I even had countless others tell me “You should sell your ideas, sell your curriculum or better yet write a book” Why? Because at the end of the day they got that idea from Ben Fowlkes and I wanted to be heard. I wanted to be “popular” in the internet world of Children’s Ministers.
I WAS SO WRONG!
The longer I have been in ministry the more it became obvious what my attitude should be. I started receiving encouraging letters from parents and thank you cards from kids But in that same year I received a Facebook message from a kid that was in my Children’s Ministry when I first started ministry. He was graduating High School and found me on Facebook just to tell me thank you.
“Thank you Ben for teaching me about Jesus back when I was at CrossCreek. It was because you made learning about who Jesus is fun and exciting that I have chosen to make Him a part of my life. I am currently looking to go into ministry and work with children as well so that I can help others make Jesus an important part of the rest of their life.”
I may not have been “making a name” for myself in the internet world BUT I was making a difference in the lives of kids. I needed to put God above myself and I quickly realized that it’s not for me or about me it is about Him and growing His Kingdom and glorifying Him. I quickly changed my view on ministry and being “popular” and I do children’s ministry to make a difference. The lives of these kids depend on us and in everything that I do I need to be INTENTIONAL, CREATIVE, NEW, SMART and EXCITING because I am making positive memories that will help shape a child’s life.