May 3rd! When I hear this date spoken out loud I immediately think back to the early 1990s when I was minister of music at First Baptist Church, Shepherdsville, KY, just south of Louisville. It is the birthday of Elaine Swann, a special needs adult child of an alto in the Sanctuary Choir. Elaine’s dad was an active deacon. Each night after choir rehearsal, Elaine would make her way over to the organist and together they would pour out their touching rendition of “Silent Night”. It was common place until the Christmas season rolled around and you heard her singing it on Christmas Eve. Then it became a tear-jerker.
Elaine died just a few years ago, and up to that point I called her almost every May 3rd, to wish her a happy birthday. I’ve been fortunate to meet several persons like Elaine over the course of my ministry. I often wonder what it will be like to meet them in heaven when they are fully restored. What impact did I have on them?
That leads me to think about ministry in general around the local church like ours. We have so many things going on – meetings, rehearsals, prayer groups, community events, training, etc. I realize it gets crazy at times, but, we need to remember that what we do now, that may seem like busy-work, may lead to decisions that have eternal significance. The text of a song or the care shown by a Sunday School class may turn out to be the spark that starts a fire, or the wind that whips it into a blaze.
So, in our day to day, week to week, or month to month ministries and activities, be aware that your participation, faithfulness, and down-right hard work will probably have spiritual impact on someone, although you may never know it.
Carry on my friends! Bill