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I am blessed today to have Lauren Moye from Chaotic Life of Lauren write about her experience in outreach ministry, and the lessons a three year old taught her about missions and evangelism.
It was a hot summer day, and our community outreach event got scheduled over the hottest part. Instead of ministering to others, I was stuck babysitting the three-year-old Lyric who attached herself to me.
“I need to go potty!”she exclaimed.
I swallowed back my impatience enough to ask, “Do I need to walk you home?” The girl nodded.
“Where is it?” Lyric pointed towards an apartment right across the road from us, so close that I could have thrown a ball to the woman sitting on the porch. Irritation bubbled deep in my veins. This little girl was becoming an inconvenience to my outreach. “Is that your Mommy?” She nodded and suddenly grasped my hand, wrapping her tiny little fingers around mine.
In that moment, my prideful and impatient heart melted. How could this little girl trust me, a complete stranger, so much that she didn’t want to miss any moment spent with me? And in that very same moment, Lyric taught me some very important lessons about evangelism and why I should continue to pursue my call to ministry, even if it did not seem so rewarding.
1) We Don’t Determine Who is Most Important to God
I spent the first half of the outreach event trying to escape my miniature shadow. She was too young to truly understand about sin and salvation, so I thought my time would be better invested in somebody older.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) tells us this: “The Lord… is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
In addition, Jesus says in John 4:37-38 that, “For in this case the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor for; others have labored, and you have benefited from their labor.”
I spent the second half of the outreach event trying to pour all of God’s love that I could into Lyric. I realized that God had put this tiny human in my path for a reason. Even a three-year-old is important to God. I suddenly realized that I was setting a very crucial foundation for how Lyric thought about Christians and God. Did I really want her to remember disappointment at how a stranger brushed her off like a pest? Or did I want to leave her feeling welcome to approach Jesus like the little children in the Bible?
2) Our Call to Ministry Doesn’t Always Look Like We Imagined, but That’s Okay
As a teenager, I had these grand dreams of making a huge impact in the Spiritual lives of others. Even now, I harbor some of this pride with wistful thoughts like, “What if I gained a huge platform? Wouldn’t that be cool?”
At this point, I can relate to how the former demon-possessed man in Mark 5:19 probably felt when Jesus commanded him to “go back home.” Ministry doesn’t always look like how we imagined, but that doesn’t mean that it lacks purpose or joy.
When I stopped looking for the ministry opportunity that I wanted, I was suddenly free to enjoy the opportunity that God did give me. There was a lot of joy to be found that afternoon playing with Lyric, too.
Most importantly, I was focused on my mission. I came so close to missing this all because I was preoccupied with imagining evangelism encounters with the adults who came to the outreach event. It wasn’t the first time I missed what God was doing by trying to do things for Him on my own. I think that is precisely why God used a three-year-old to completely humble my heart.Our call to Ministry Doesn’t Always Look Like We Imagined, but That’s Okay Click To Tweet
3) Somebody is Hoping I’ll Reach Their Lyric
The story that I’ve shared in this post isn’t recent. At this point, Lyric is young teenager. The summer after I first met Lyric, I returned to that same area for another community outreach. However, Lyric and her family had moved.
I only knew her for one afternoon when she was three-years-old. I never got to meet her when she was old enough to understand the Gospel. I don’t know if she’s found Christ, or if that outreach event has any lingering significance to her life. I may never know, and that thought drives me crazy.
I pray, “God, please send somebody to Lyric. Help somebody to reap what I attempted to sow.” I hold onto faith that another Christian, seeking to fulfill the Great Commission, will also meet Lyric.
What bothers me even more than Lyric’s yet unknown fate is that everyday, I walk past somebody else’s Lyric.
We’ve all had these encounters that change our lives and faith. We’ve all met people that we wanted to meet again in Heaven, but had to walk away before we knew if it was a possibility. We all hope that somebody else will finish what we individually started.
But it’s not going to happen until we all take the Great Commission, given by Jesus in both Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8, seriously.
In Luke 10:2, Jesus says, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
Are you a worker in the Lord’s harvest? Have you experienced a situation such as mine, were you faithful in fulfilling the Great Commission?
Share your experiences in the comment section.
Meet my friend Lauren C. Moye
Lauren C. Moye is a wife, mother, and part-time journalist, but, in a former stage of life, she was very active in many different ministries. God has called her little family away from that life (at least for now). However, she still ministers in her own way through her blog www.chaoticlifeoflauren.com where she helps “Christian moms manage life”. For more encouragement on ministering to others, read How Do We Empower Mothers to Serve Others: A Resource.
Lauren C. Moye on Social Media