People often think about things being B I G.
Yet I have been thinking about this a lot after reading “The Conspiracy of the Insignificant” by Patrick Regan, and “Don’t make history, change the future” by Matt Summerfield.
The Title of Patrick’s book is inspiring, as all the way through scripture, the subversive nature of God used unlikely people from unlikely places to bring transformation, just look at everyone from a Abraham -geriatric nomad, Gideon -“My family is the least in the region and I am the least in my family” and a whole host of people who were probably told by their teachers that they wouldn’t amount to much… Jesus himself, who had experienced homelessness and been a refugee before he learned to walk and talk, came from Nazareth, a place which even one of his disciples once joked “can anything good come from Nazareth” -or maybe he wasn’t joking, maybe the places reputation was that bad and prejudices more openly expressed.
Yet every revolution has started hidden away in unnoble places, and the ground which has been most fertile towards revolution has been from those in poverty. Poverty is a type of oppression, people believe that this is how it always has been, this is how it always will be, and there is nothing I can do to change it. Revolutionaries say “there is a brighter and a different future ahead, it is yours and your children’s, and its there for the taking”.
Every Revival has been birthed in prayer, normally amongst elderly but faithful saints praying in their two’s and threes for the coming of the Kingdom. The credit is normally given to the guy who rides into town with the message, and yet the real heroes are those who have been on their knees for decades before. Unseen by us, but seen and heard by our heavenly father.
Yet this shouldn’t be a massive surprise to us as Christians because Jesus talked a lot about the first being last, and he prioritised those who society normally rejected, overlooked, ignored or ostracised.
People often talk to me about strategy, which is good and is important, and yet I notice that the most fruitful moments seem to (with human eyes) have little strategic importance; a conversation with a Samaritan (not a liked people group) who was clearly considered a bit of a slapper by her community -yet this lady was a wonderful evangelist who told everyone about Jesus. Interestingly when Philip was in Samaria later on at the beginning of Acts, he sees great fruit, which I’d suggest may have been due to the seeds with wonderful sister had sown, and yet in the midst of the fruitfulness he is called to leave it all and go to the desert to talk to one defiled gentile about Jesus, which he did -and we believe this took the Gospel to a whole new continent.
Often it is in the seemingly insignificant we find incredible fruit, the things that actually are the biggest often look the smallest and unimportant at first glance. The things we in our worldly eyes put at the bottoms of the to do list actually go at the top of Jesus’. That conversation when you have been listening all day may well have more transformation power than the 40 minute sermon you just delivered. That bunch of flowers, that card, that quick coffee all maybe those moments of revival revolution that we don’t often even remember we’d done.
I once did a little Bible verse take home after a service, which had a picture of the world on it and it said “What does someone gain if they get the world world and loose their life?” it wasn’t a great take home, but I spotted it on someone’s wall years later, I’d completely forgot I’d given them out.
We have this idea of bigness in Churchy circles, people want to speak on the big stage and all that jazz, and yet I think often we forget sermons and we can’t remember who said wise things, but we often remember the small acts of random kindness, the moments of uncomfortable integrity, the extra mile with a smile (I love that expression!)… these are the things that actually turn the world upside now.
So if we want to make a big transforming impact in our world then lets roll up our sleeves and serve, bless, love and care for the people who matter so much to God but aren’t given a second thought by the world at large.
I’ll close with a couple of thoughts, there is a quote which says “If serving is beneath you, then leadership is above you”, too often we think of greatness of being like Alan Sugar in his boardroom demanding things rather than like Jesus wrapped in a towel washing his disciples feet.
To make a big difference do the small unglamorous service and watch the Kingdom break out.