Rather than pinning my hopes on a “major ministry breakthrough” or a “clear personal word from God,” I’ve learned to enter into a continual process for progress.
One step at a time. Steps that are steady, unspectacular, easy to take for granted, and easier to overlook. Yet when you take them, you realize that each step is full of meaning and possibility and the Spirit.
Each step is massive in its smallness.
For example, in my own spiritual life, those massively small steps include . . .
Reading Gripped By The Greatness Of God instead of listening to “Imus In The Morning.”
Carving time in the morning routine to sit and to pray.
Ensuring our TV system does not have access to inappropriate channels.
Taking time each night to pray favor on other ministries in our area.
Actually listening to pop music with Christian lyrics. It will never be quite the rush Led Zeppelin is for me, but it’s not bad to hear “How He Loves Us” when you hop in the car.
On their own, none of those are monumental. You are probably doing many of the same. However, when you piece them together, these massively small steps give momentum to my own living relationship with Jesus Christ.
In ministry and in my role as pastor of Good Shepherd, the same principle applies. Some massively small steps to which I commit each week:
Hand written notes to first time guests. Call those same folks on Saturday, just before what I hope will be their second Sunday at GSUMC.
Get to the office early.
Return every phone call and email within 24 hours, usually within the hour.
Do the least pleasant thing first.
If I haven’t seen people church in awhile, call. Sometimes they tell me they’ve left us for someone younger and better looking. More often, they are grateful to be noticed in their absence.
Regardless of how far ahead I am in sermon prep, there is always another one to write. Take notes all day long.
Again, none of those are revelatory. None make me a “visionary leader.” None qualify me for the title of Lead Pastor (heaven forbid!).
Yet I am wired in such a way that each of those small steps contain massive meaning for ministry and spirituality.
What massively small step will you take today?