by Lori Witham
I’m not a Bible translator, and I’m not a literacy worker. My ministry is not romantic or exciting in any way. I work in the publications office typesetting scripture and printing literacy material. I also share in the general office work, the same as everyone in the office – jobs such as answering doors, and buying supplies for the bush teams. Not very exciting, but everyone knows our specific and general jobs are just as necessary as any of the “exciting” ministries. The goal is Bible translation, accomplished through many ministries.
As members of the Body of Christ, we all have a part – big and small – and scripture says each part of Christ’s body is equally important. But I wonder if the stateside churches realize this equality of ministries. I wonder whether Christians at home are getting a realistic picture of missions when churches go overseas for short mission trips and accomplish only the flashy special projects. Yes, the team members come away excited because they were part of building an orphanage, or a school room. Yes, the missionaries are grateful for fellow Christians willing to give of their time and money. But what about the small jobs that aren’t being accomplished because the mission doesn’t have the workers? What if the mission desperately needs people to come do handyman work around town?
Shouldn’t the church leaders be helping its members realize that the small boring jobs are as equally important as the big exciting jobs? Maybe this would be the tool to teach the lesson: God needs evangelists overseas, and He also needs plumbers. Otherwise, the Church will believe that I am “just” a support worker. Missions will continue to have a huge need for support workers. Taking it a step further, the Church will believe that stateside church workers are of higher importance than overseas workers. Missions will continue to have a great need for Bible translators and missionaries in all fields. Pastors are more important than church secretaries. And Sunday school teachers are more important than mid-week volunteers.
God didn’t intend that at home, and He didn’t intend it overseas. God values every individual and every individual’s role he or she plays in the Kingdom. I’m a little toe, and God needs me!
A condensed version of Little Toe first published in Sept/Oct 2009 in Women of the Harvest magazine.