In my mid-20’s, I led the worship team for the college & career ministry at my church. At the time, attendance was at around 200, which was considered a lot. The worship time was a big draw and the worship team spent a considerable amount of time practising – a few hours on Saturday, then an hour or two before we were set to lead on Tuesday night.
One particular Tuesday, there was a huge blizzard. The whole worship team braved the elements and we practised as per usual. However, right before it was time for us to start leading, the pastor of the college & career ministry came up to me and said “There are only 11 people here. You guys don’t need to bother with the worship set.” Instantly the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said “If you are faithful with a few, I can trust you with more.” So I turned to the pastor and said “We’re doing it. It doesn’t matter how many people are here.” So we did. Including the worship team, there were about 20 people there that night.
In the moment that God said, “I can trust you with more,” I didn’t take it to mean greater attendance. I thought it potentially meant more responsibility or more favour. With 200 people coming to college & career, we thought we had peaked. But something began to happen. Young adults from all across the region began to come and they were on fire for God. We began to grow and grow and grow – and not just in numbers, but in freedom and passion.
We decided to add an additional monthly worship event called Saturate, which saw attendance of 1200. And these 1200 were going back to their churches and bringing a renewed passion for worship with them. And every time I would stop to reflect and consider what was going on, I thought of the night only 11 people showed up and how we did exactly what we did when there were 1200 people there. Because it wasn’t about the numbers. It was about faithfulness and obedience. And if only one person would be impacted, that would be enough.
Nowadays it is tough for one person to be enough - for one person to be worth our time and investment. We want to do “Big Things for God” but we measure that by “likes” on our social media page or views on our videos. We have lost sight of value of one person and the reality that it is the one person that God is calling us to reach.
In Henri Nouwen’s book Bread for the Journey, he says, “We are not all called to save the world…But we each have our own unique call…We have to keep asking God to help us see clearly what our call is…Then we will discover that our faithfulness to a small task is the most healing response to the illnesses of our time.”
Our culture has convinced us that unless what we do is “big” (and publicly validated by others), it’s probably not worth it. Quietly impacting one person is no longer enough for us. Doing the right thing without getting “likes” or recognition is no longer enough. We care more about what others think about what we are doing than what God thinks about what we are doing. We are more motivated by the dopamine rush we get when we get the approval from others then we are by the satisfaction we should be getting from The One we desire to please.
I think it is pride manifesting itself in a new way.
In his excellent book Mere Christianity, CS Lewis articulates what pride is in an exceptionally tangible way. He says. “Pride get no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next person. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about.”
It describes me more than I care to admit. And it is remarkable how it applies to our social media world. How the fear of not getting enough “likes” could be preventing us from being the difference-maker to the one. But I am choosing to fight against it. And I decided to choose against it before I started the There Is More blog.
Initially when I heard the call to start the blog, I spent a lot of time thinking about how it would gain traction and how I would get people to follow it, that I totally lost sight that it didn’t really matter how it did. The fact was that God was calling me to do it, I just needed to be obedient. He wanted a platform for women to share their stories and I just happen to be the one He wanted to use to do it. And He reminded me of that night when 11 people showed up for worship - how it was still worth it.
So it doesn’t matter to me what the numbers are – how many follower or how many likes. Because even if one person is meaningfully impacted by the stories on the blog, it is enough.
And I have determined that in my own day-to-day life I will focus on making a difference to one person. Because one person is enough.