It's in the small things...

Updated: Feb 27, 2021

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4 years ago today, I presented a message to two small congregations in Eastern North Carolina entitled “IT IS NOT THE SIZE OF THE CHURCH YOU ARE IN, BUT THE SIZE OF THE CHURCH IN YOU!” (A variation I concocted from a quote of Gary Busey that he stole from Mark Twain's statement, “It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.”)

The premise of my presentation hatched from Zechariah 4:10 "Do not despise the day of small things." In the world of “BIGGER IS BETTER” and “SUPER-SIZED VALUES”, it seems pretty backward to go "micro" rather than "macro"... it would seem slow progress down rather than ramp it up. But trust me, my experience has been that God uses small things to accomplish His BIG things! 


The great statistician, Ernst Schumacher, said “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Recently we had the resolve to run a small feeding program for displaced people in Gudele, South Sudan. When you share food with people it is not long-lived. By feeding, you are helping folks in the short, momentary lapse of time and results are hard to measure. It goes against all corporation (and corporate church) success tactics. It lacks the ambitions of sustainability (even though Jesus fed multitudes). This past week I receive a message from a Sudanese refugee that exemplifies the “bigness” in the small things:

 “My name is Doruka Abot Chol from Upper Nile State. On behalf of my family and my children, I say that we have suffered since 2013 from the beginning of the conflict. We lost our properties; my home was destroyed. Even most of my relatives have been killed. We ran to the United Nations' Internally Displaced Persons camps for shelter. After the signing of the peace agreement (which did not hold), I decided to come out from the UN camp to start a new life from zero-point with nothing in hand. Today I am very very happy for pastor Tom and Peter including the leaders of Gudele Church of Christ for distributing food. Non-Government Organizations and government leaders have failed to assist survivors in safety, food, and safe water for drinking. May God Bless those who have partnered with (MERCY PARTNERS and IDES), and may He give you more as you have shown Mercy.” 

Let's be honest... after reading Doruka’s account, aren’t we taken back on how much HOPE “daily bread” can bring?! When we compare food distribution to a mission project like building a church or constructing a school, do we sometimes despise the “day of small things”? 

"Mango" is another great example.