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So many people, so little time

July 26, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Posted in: Love

“I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.” (Mark 9:41)

One of the challenges of pastoral ministry is that there are very few aspects of the job that can be checked off as complete. There is a sermon to preach every Sunday, and a newsletter to put out every Tuesday, but most of the work is ongoing: discipling people, training leaders, caring for struggling people, and so on. When there are 150-200 people who call NewLife their home, and only 7 days in a week, clearly decisions need to be made and priorities need to be set, because you can not give everyone all the time you would like to give.

One of the statements I heard early in my ministry, which has helped me tremendously, was by Mike Yaconelli, a pioneer in youth ministry. As he reflected on this truth about ministry, that there are so many people and only so many hours in a week, he said something like this:

“The difference between nothing and something is bigger than the difference between something and a lot of things.”

His words are not particularly eloquent, and perhaps not Tweetable, but his point has stuck with me. When it comes to relationships, the difference between doing nothing and placing one phone call, writing one letter, or even sending a quick “how are you doing?” email can be huge. You will probably not have time to have a regular lunch with every friend you care about, or have a lengthy conversation every week with your ten closest friends, but you can probably find a small way to communicate to each of them that you are thinking about them, praying for them, or that you care about them.

If you are like me, easily overwhelmed by the multiple relationships in your life that could demand your time, I hope Yacnoelli’s words help. Find little ways that you can show your care for the people in your life. The difference between nothing and something is bigger than the difference between something and a lot of things.

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