Several years ago, I was speaking at a certain church. As I entered the building, a well-kept young man named Charles introduced himself. He handed me a bottle of water as he began to show me around the church and said, “Hello Pastor Smith, I’m Charles.” Our pastor has instructed me to be your liaison today. I’ll be sitting in the front row, just to your left. If you need anything, please signal me, and I’ll assist you.”
During the worship service, I felt a prompting from the Lord to preach a different message than the one I had prepared. I needed to jot down a few thoughts along with relevant scriptures, but I had no pen. I glanced over at Charles, who was attentively watching for any needs, and motioned that I needed a pen. Within seconds, I had a pen in my hand, and I was able to capture the message the Lord was impressing upon me.
After the service, I asked the pastor about this idea of having a liaison for guest speakers. “I had a need” he said, then continued explaining that he was often preoccupied with preparations before the service and sometimes overlooked simple things like providing water for guest speakers, fresh mints, a clean microphone cover, or even guiding them around the building. He shared that Charles was relatively new to their church, but the role didn’t require a high degree of spiritual maturity. It was straightforward: offer the speaker a bottle of water, provide directions, and supply a pen if needed.
The pastor showed wisdom in recognizing that where there was a need, there also existed an opportunity to give someone the chance to prove their faithfulness. He transformed that need into a ministry, creating a platform for further opportunities and growth in the church.
During a casual phone conversation a few years later, I asked this pastor about Charles. He told me that Charles had grown within the church and was now the children’s pastor.
What this pastor did was demonstrate trust in Charles by entrusting him with something seemingly small. This act unlocked his hidden potential, bolstered his self-esteem, ignited his leadership qualities, and opened his heart to spiritual maturity.
In essence, this underscores the significance of recognizing the potential leaders within your congregation and giving them opportunities, even in seemingly minor roles.
Trusting people with small responsibilities can lead to the discovery of their hidden talents and their growth into impactful leaders within the church. It’s a lesson that every pastor should take to heart as they seek to raise up leaders within their own congregations.
Consider the needs in your church. Is there someone in your congregation who possesses the capability to fulfill those tasks? Is there an individual who could share even a small part of your load, relieving you to focus on those things that only you can do in the church?
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” (Luke 16:10, NIV).
In the fast-paced whirlwind of church administration and pastoring, the ‘small stuff’ can often get overlooked. But it’s precisely these ‘minor roles’ that can serve as a training ground for future church leaders. Trusting a person with something as simple as providing water or guidance can be the first step in identifying the Charles in your church.