What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. Psalm 8:4-5
Back in 1985, when I came out of law school and started work as a very wet-behind-the-ears lawyer, I expected to be stuck in the back of a law library for at least a year or two before I would be entrusted with anything which actually required much judgment on my part. I fully expected I would be researching and reading and gathering documents and other such tasks which were reasonably “safe” for a baby lawyer to handle. Imagine my surprise, then, in my FIRST WEEK ON THE JOB, when one partner handed me a file to take before a jury in just 3 short months and another partner handed me an appellate brief to prepare and argue before the Texas Court of Appeals in just 6 short months. I was scared to death! I was in pretty far over my head. I would not have done it that way. I thought to myself…they must really trust me!
I say it often about God and the church…I would not have done it this way. If I were God, I would not have chosen this strategy to reach this lost and broken world. To be blunt, I would never have entrusted my name and my reputation into the hands of a bunch of broken, flawed people like you and me. What an enormous risk!
In my work as a peacemaker in the church, I get the privilege of seeing the church often at its very worst behavior. I am reminded over and over again just how flawed we are…how very capable we are …
The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel. Amos 1:1
If God ever gives you the opportunity to change careers, to start over again and to choose any occupation in the world in order to be used by Him in His service…choose “shepherd”. There is pretty good Biblical support for that choice. Do not choose “lawyer”…not so much scriptural support there.
Amos was a lowly shepherd…from Tekoa…not even from Israel (the Northern kingdom) where God sent him to prophesy. He was a shepherd and a foreigner…with a very unpopular message.
God shows us over and over again through His story that He is perfectly willing to use common, every-day, “average Joes” to impact the world; not only willing but seemingly preferring of the common guys, the shepherds. There is nobody too small, too remote, too plain, nor too obscure for God. He just has an eye for talent, doesn’t he?
I wonder if you as a church leader have the same eyes? Do you see the unbelievable potential in the small, “insignificant” people of your congregation? More importantly, do your people know…REALLY KNOW…that our God is big enough and powerful enough to choose THEM to make a difference?
Evangelist, Mordecai Ham had such an eye. He saw something in a 16-year-old farm boy who came to one of his tent revivals in Charlotte in 1934. This was a farm boy who had been kicked out of church for being “too worldly”. But Mordecai Ham must have seen something different in order to spend the time to sit with him and tell him about the Christian walk. It just seems to …