My friend and I were talking today about the importance of pushing through the moments of silence and the absence of affirmation in ministry.
We know as Christians that affirmation is never the goal, yet as humans, especially in this social media age, we are surrounded by the likes, shares and followers mindset.
In our humanness they seem to affirm our purpose so we foolishly equate numbers to effectiveness in ministry. We see the world’s response to success and sometimes forget that God doesn’t move that way.
We don’t always register the importance of one…
It is interesting that in Scripture, Jesus left the crowds to spend time with the few. The one and two’s mattered to Him.
He didn’t forget the significance of the individual for the crowd. Yes, the crowd was important, but there was something about Zacchaeus and the woman at the well, and the man with the legion that caused Him to meet them personally.
To Jesus, both the individual and the crowd were significant. I always tell my children that if Christ had to die just to redeem them alone, He would.
That is how important one is to Jesus.
But in our age, we equate social media success with effectiveness. But what if we are just meant to reach only one?
I believe that the Lord calls most of us to meet the one, roll up our sleeves and dig in until the Gospel transforms them as it did us. And then He calls us to take that one and disciple them until they are ready to make disciples and then they will make their own. And so on, and so on. It is the power of compounding one.
I fear that we get lost in the noise, and while looking for affirmation from the crowd, we don’t see the person right next to us who we have a unique ability to enter in and minister to.
I believe we have lost the understanding of the importance of one.
We can do amazing things just by reaching one person at a time…
- Joseph Blankson saw a boat capsize and one by one pulled 13 people to safety, at the cost of his own life.
- Dr. Gino Strada has performed free life saving surgeries for people in war zones like Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and Cambodia. One by one he has saved 30,000 lives.
- California Highway Patrolman Kevin Briggs, Australian Don Ritchie and China’s Chen Si have each saved the lives of hundreds of people who were attempting suicide. They each have talked hundreds of people out of committing suicide just by reaching them one by one.
- In WWII during the Battle of Okinawa, Desmond Doss one by one saved 75 wounded infantrymen off Hacksaw Ridge. Each time he prayed, “Please Lord, let me get one more.”
The last one on that list is my favorite because of his prayer. It is so humble. He doesn’t ask to win the war and be noticed. He just asks to locate the one, and bring him back to safety.
That is our job as believers.
We are called to see those within our circle of influence and dig deeply into their lives. While God may permit us to influence the crowd, we must never do so at the expense of the one. We should never forget those who by God’s grace we can uniquely affect.
So let us pray, “Please Lord, let me reach one more.”