While congregations have begun reorganizing and identifying volunteers to cover the responsibilities for various ministries, finding members willing to collaborate has become a challenge, especially for pastors.
My wife and I saw this firsthand on a recent church visit. Because many of the congregations we visit invite me to preach, I'm usually prepared. But this time, I felt strongly that I should not accept if I were invited to speak.
We were cordially welcomed when we entered the church. Immediately, one of the members asked, "Pastor, since you are here, would you like to preach?"
There was a well-dressed man standing nearby. I asked him if he was the appointed preacher that day. He said that he was, and then asked me if I wanted to preach. Again, I felt the same impression and encouraged him to go forward with his planned sermon.
During his sermon, Rodolfo Carrillo mentioned that his brother and sister-in-law were visiting from out of town and had come to hear him preach. I also learned that the congregation had asked Rodolfo to come that day to preach. I was extremely happy to know that it wasn't merely a human impulse that had directed me to not accept the preaching invitation.
The Spirit moved during Rodolfo's inspirational sermon. The Spirit had clearly arranged for all of the events of that morning.
After the service, I overheard Rodolfo thank a young boy for his help with the microphones. My curiosity peaked because this boy was very young. I asked how exactly he had helped that morning. Then I heard the rest of the story.
When the church found itself without an audiovisual director, eight-year-old Allan Santos offered to help. After some training, Allan had been placed in charge of arriving early every Sabbath to turn on the sound console, the computer, the projector and to set up microphones. I was told he had faithfully served every single Sabbath. I was touched by his commitment, his dedication, his fidelity and his tenacity. When Allan was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he replied, "I want to be a pastor and a doctor."
Allan has discovered the secret of enduring joy. For there is no greater joy, no greater satisfaction, than that found in service to God and one's neighbor.
This reminds me of the story of another child, the one who gave all of his meal to the Master. He was happy to give Jesus what was needed. And with that young boy's small lunch, simply-prepared in a humble home, Jesus performed a miracle.
I’m wondering how many miracles heaven could perform with your gifts and talents when you place them in the Master's hands?