I left a successful career as a manager of people and programs at USDA to pursue ministry as my full time vocation. I was lured by the desire to have impact, make a difference, and walk in obedience to a calling I have known about since I was fifteen years old. However noble those desires were, truth be told, I was drawn by a desire for greatness…great impact, a desire to have a life of significance and a desire to leave a legacy.
So I’ve been in full time Christian Ministry for fifteen years now. About time for a progress report. How’s that world impact going? How many books have you written? How many have you lead to the LORD! How many are you discipling? How big is that mailing list? What’s the total number of churches you’ve planted?
Well truth is I am no Billy Graham, Reinhard Bonnke, Mike Bickle, or John Piper and while I love Ravi Zacharius, my apologetics skills still need a bit of sharpening. You probably won’t quote me on daily basis and none of my books have left my laptop yet. While I’ve prayed for the sick and some have been healed, I have yet to empty a hospital or see anything close to Signs & Wonders. So it is natural that as I try to grade the impact of my “Talents“ on the planet I might believe I’ve fallen a bit short of the LORD’s dreams for my life. Then He whispers…
If you’ve ever heard that whisper you know what I speak of it. It pierces every thought and hits your heart head on! It changes everything. “Chris Ferguson, you have no ideas of how heaven assesses impact, effectiveness, or success. I’ve seen it all, even that which you assume is ordinary and mundane!” Friends, that truly silences all those voices of doubt and accusation.
One preacher said it like this, “The pays the same whether you raise the dead or take a nap. If you’re doing it unto the LORD!” Comparison causes so many to quit, or live feeling defeated. Don’t let comparison steal your reward. Colossians 3:17 “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” He see’s and accounts for things so much better than you or I ever will! I am learning to stop keeping score and trust Him to tally my wins and losses.
Our world is racing by at such a frenetic pace that it is so often easy to miss the truth that some of the biggest impacts seem so small and insignificant. A listening ear, a humble heart, a word of encouragement and exhortation. I recently sat with a grown man who was in the midst of a mess, a mess he bore partial responsibility. He shared with tears about a business decision and relationship (also business) that was in shambles. I’ve never been in this field, I can’t offer him pragmatic advice from experience, training, or licensing. So I called on the transcendent One, “Holy Spirit, you’ve all knowledge and all wisdom…HELP!”
Wisdom showed up. He left that table in the corner with a little more hope, encouragement, and confidence that the LORD had given him a plan to move forward. He wasn’t going to camp in the valley of despair, he was walking through it with a testimony in the making.
So even if my primary platform is seldom more that a corner table in the coffee shop, it matters! To the only one Who matters, it really is significant. Whatever you do, do it as unto Him. Invite the “Boss” into every interaction you have with people and don’t disqualify yourself. Those times you’re the least qualified one in the room are the times He is most likely to show up and do wonders!
LORD, thanks for paying so well! My cup runs over. We get to join Abba in the family business. It is a joy to be faithful with a little.