Sunday, September 14, 2008

Showing up

I am not sure who to credit this to, but someone a few years ago gave me a wonderful peice of advice about doing any kind of ministry.

"Never underestimate the power of showing up."

It seems simple, too simple to have any real effect. But showing up is the most important thing in any kind of ministry. Time is probably the most valuable thing we have in our culture that celebrates multi-tasking and overloading schedules. It's hard to "find the time" to do things we know we should, so when we physically show up, it means more than we could ever know.

When the advice was given to me, I was interning with Project Transformation. I believe it was during the first week of the 9-week program. I was expressing my anxiety about working with elementary-aged kids. I had never worked with kids that were younger than 6th grade, and that summer, the oldest kids were 5th graders. To top it off, a few of them hardly spoke any English! As I voiced my concerns, someone spoke up and gave me that advice, adding, "You don't have to be amazing, you just have to be there." I took the advice, and did some wonderful work with kids that needed to be loved...all by just showing up, every day.

As Christians, we often find ourselves thinking, "I can't do that. I'm not going to be any good." We fill our heads full of negative thinking, and hope that someone else will step in. Chances are, if you're trying to give reasons why you can't do's exactly what you have to do. You don't have to be amazing, just show up. Go. Serve. Love.

"I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ," Ephesians 3: 7-8 (NIV) (bold added)

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