Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8
Jack Hyles started preaching at several small Texas churches after he graduated from college in the early 50s. Many of those congregations were small, under 100 members. During his time at Miller Road Baptist Church that congregation grew from 44 to 4,000 members. He eventually moved to Indiana where he took over shepherding the First Baptist Church of Hammond. Membership grew from about 700 to over 20,000. Along the way Hyles saw the need for better Sunday school programs and eventually, through his innovative Sunday bus program, grew a small Sunday program to one recognized as one of the largest Sunday school programs in America, if not the world.
“A person who will not take care of the little things will not take care of the big things, for big things are but an accumulation of little things,” he once said. You see, Mr. Hyles took Proverbs 6:6-8 to heart. He was responsible, a good steward, of the gifts God imparted him. He didn’t need an overseer in the church or a show of hands or even a committee to see how to build God’s kingdom here on earth. He just did it.
I’ve spent many years volunteering in churches and sitting on committees. It seems an unfortunate fact that many feel they need a blessing by their church to start a ministry. You not only won’t find that in the Bible but you will find an urging to individually take responsibility for the treasure and talent you have been given.
The ant is part of a collective, yes. But an ant also knows what its role is within the community. To build, protect, and sustain. It doesn’t go to any one ant to get its marching orders. It doesn’t sit around fretting about its greater purpose before acting. It doesn’t fill out an interest survey to find out its “best suited place.” No, it just gets working.
Friend, we all have been tasked with working for God’s church. To build it, to protect it and to sustain it. Don’t wait for the perfect time or opportunity. He asks us to take care of the little things first. You may find in washing a few dishes or folding programs that God has placed you right where you need to be.
Father God, use me as you see fit. No matter where I am placed, I will work for your Kingdom. Help me to be a good steward of your gifts imparted to me. Amen