The phone call still resonates in my head sometimes. My football coach called me the day after the first day of practice for the season. He was calling because I hadn’t shown up for the first day. I was a senior in High School, and I had played 3 years for this man. I made a decision to quit my senior year and no longer play any football.
I hadn’t told him this. I simply chose not to show up to practice.
That action made it clear to my coach that I didn’t really want to play football. Obviously, the ones who really wanted to play showed up for practice.
I can’t help but think of this situation when I think about small group leaders showing up, or not showing up. How many times have I prayed short snapshot prayers telling God, “I want you to use me in ministry. I want to know you more and see you do crazy things in my life, my family, and my ministry.” Yet how many times has God responded with the words of Jeremiah 29:13. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
I’m constantly learning that if I want to grow, I need to show up in the practice of prayer. I’ve got to show up for practice. And if I want my group, the people God has provided me to ministry to, to grow, I’ve got to show up for them. Not just in the big things—the once a week group meeting time. But in the small things, too.
If I say I want to be used in ministry to students and yet seldom show up for the practice of small things (ball games, birthday parties, plays, phone calls, Facebook posts, etc.), I am kidding myself. I am not going to be used as effectively in ministry if I refuse to show up for the small things. To help show my student that what we talk about in group goes beyond our group time, into real life, too.
Those small moments of showing up communicate just how much you care about the big things of ministry—the growing of authentic faith in the students you lead.
By PC Walker