***NOTE: For me, 2013 will always be the year I stepped away from my position as Director of Student Ministries at The Hill Baptist Church. Working at The Hill was a incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding experience, one that taught me countless lessons I’m still being transformed by. As 2013 comes to a close, I thought it would be fitting to share the article I wrote for The Augusta Chronicle on the eve of my final day on staff at The Hill. As you reflect on the year that was and make plans for the year to come, I can only pray you’ll believe the small things really do matter to God.
Every morning I make the drive down Central Avenue, turning onto Kings Way and into the parking lot of The Hill Baptist Church, thinking to myself, “Does it matter?”
For five years I have served as the director of student ministries at The Hill. When I began I was a 22-year-old student in my final semester at Augusta State University. I was a fresh-faced intern with adventurous faith who dreamed of changing the world through youth ministry.
Though I thought I knew it all (as most 22-year-olds do), I never could have predicted what the next five years would hold. Today, as I prepare to step down from my position at the church, I am questioning if anything I did mattered.
Did picking up and dropping off students for an hour before and after church matter? Did the conversations over late-night fast food matter? Did silly Facebook wall posts matter? Does small ministry with a small group of students in a small church with a small budget matter to an incredibly big God?
The Hill Baptist Church is a small church. The Hill Youth is a small group, about 20 active students. When I see some of Augusta’s most vibrant churches bringing in hundreds of students to camps and lock-ins, I sometimes wonder if I’ve been doing something wrong this whole time.
But then I read the Bible. When I read the Bible I can’t help but notice a common trend.
We have a big God who does small things. He uses a few men to write letters to a handful of churches to influence the world for centuries to come. He uses stones to take down giants. He uses dinner-table conversations to bring healing. He uses a small area of land Jesus traveled to start a wildfire of faith across the globe.
Small things add up. Without the small acts of everyday ministry, the big things can’t be accomplished. Without the day-in, day-out trips to lunchrooms and random Wednesday night blender games, there might not be mission trips to Jamaica or Los Angeles. There might not be baptisms. There might not be salvation.
As I prepare to step down from my position, I have to believe the small things mattered. They mattered to me at least.
The small things showed me how to be brave in the face of everyday fears. They showed me how to stop worrying about tomorrow and focus on the moments in front of me. They showed me how to put aside the things of this world. They showed me how to have faith.
As I step away from full-time ministry for this season, I offer this one piece of advice: Do something small today.
Sometimes that just means showing up. Sometimes it means holding a door open or sitting down for a meal. Sometimes it just means a ride home. The small things are the acts of ministry which lay the foundation for the mountaintop moments we strive for.
God builds extravagant beaches out of minuscule grains of sand. The small acts of kindness and love you do each day which seem insignificant are the brush strokes which turn into God’s grand masterpiece. Do small things.