For anyone out there who thinks I am arrogant, please know that I am continually humbled.
I recently ran into individuals from 2 small churches where I’d preached as a substitute in September. I remembered them. They had no memory of me. Even when I jogged their memory, they both seemed to “fake” remembering me. Apparently my preaching made a real impact!
I wrote a book, and have a hard time even giving the book away free. Rarely does someone want one. A half box sits in my closet collecting dust. Yet, I plan to write another book and will likely begin in January. I feel compelled to write. Sometimes I wonder why. I spent a year of my life on the first book, and only about 150 copies are out there.
I have a unique robes of the high priest presentation (see my speaking tab above), but rarely have opportunity to do it – only 5 times in 5 years. I’ve offered this presentation to a variety of churches, schools, etc – and I am ignored. I sometimes feel a bad steward of both my gifts and this outfit, but I am not sure what else to do. It sits in my closet collecting dust most of the time.
I recently took a tremendous step of faith!! I spent $2.50 on a 2018 pocket calendar to record my speaking engagements.
Look to the right. It says I have 1,361 followers. That number is deceptive. It includes my facebook and twitter followers (895), most of whom never read my blog! About 50 people are e-mail subscribers. For years, traffic to my blog has been less than 50 hits a day. However, for unknown reasons, my traffic has been averaging 100 hits a day for months now. Certainly better, but after 7 years of blogging, my blog remains obscure.
What’s my point here?
- To encourage others. It can be easy to look at others (their blog or book or ministry) and be envious of them – to think they are a success while you struggle. But there is a good chance they are struggling too!
- Remember that God is at work in the small. Be careful how you define success. Here is past post of mine: Numerical growth=spiritual success? , God is at work in the small, long-range, and hidden.
I was encouraged by this post from the Be Blesstified blog: HOW BEING OVERLOOKED HELPED LEAD TO MY BLOG… If God is allowing you to be excluded or ignored somewhere, maybe He is leading you down a different path.
But being overlooked is still frustrating. The above blogger was not asked to contribute to a newsletter, and he is a professional writer! What in the world? I’ve observed and experienced this too. A church or organization has a member/volunteer with an ideal skill set and passion to fill a need, and they overlook this person entirely. And sometimes the person who is asked bungles it or does it in a slipshod way.
If you are being ignored or failing to “succeed” (in the good sense of that word), it is a possibility that you are mistaken about your gifting. Or maybe you need to use your gift or passion in a different format. I’ll give one example.
I observed someone trying to be a writer, and well, their writing was not very good and was not improving with time either. But then I saw a video of them speaking, and wow, they were dynamic! I think this person needed to focus on speaking, and move on from the writing. Do what you can, not what you can’t! However, it was good they tried. Sometimes we have a hidden or undeveloped gift, and if we don’t try, we will never know it.
On a final note, if you know of someone with a special gift or ministry, be an advocate for them. Pray for them. Encourage them. Recommend their gift or skill to your pastor, leader, or group.
You could be God’s instrument to unleash someone’s spiritual gift to help the church!
Remember, it is not about you and your gift. Our gifts were given to us by God, to help the Body of Christ. We all need each other.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10