I know how busy life can get. It’s easy to get buried in all the tasks and obligations of ministry that you lose sight of what’s really happening. In smaller churches it’s tempting to fixate on the numbers like a teenager checking Facebook to see how many “likes” and “shares” their status got (or a blogger constantly looking for “views” and “follows”). This is a wrong focus and it can cause us to miss the fact that you are not alone, no matter how small your church is.
During one of our regular meetings, our leadership team was “discussing” how it feels like only same few people really do anything in the ministries of the church. We decided to go ministry area by ministry area–each one getting its own week–and recognize each person who served in some capacity in that area. Our initial thought was that those who weren’t active would see and be inspired by those who were. God had different plans.
The first week was our pastoral care ministry, those people who serve to care for the needs within the church. The next week was worship ministry, then Christian education (which includes the children’s ministry), then administration, and outreach. By the end of the five weeks we saw that nearly everyone in the congregation had been up front to receive a certificate, many of them several times. What God showed us is that we using the wrong measuring rod and had lost sight of just how involved and helpful our membership is. Rather than the 20/80 rule (20% of the people do 80% of the work) we saw that level out to around 80/80. It was an amazing revelation.
I want to encourage you to encourage your members. Recognize the facts that 1) there is no small contribution from members, 2) that there are people involved and serving, and 3) not all help and service looks like a church program. If you do not recognize and honor even the widows mite, then you are not honoring God and his work among even the least of these.
Recognition and refocus, you need it and your fellowship needs it. Take some time to prayerfully reflect on who helps (even if it’s serving outside the programs of the church) and then take a Sunday service and honor those who serve with you. Speaking from experience, you will be refreshed and your church inspired!