Not Just

Leon brought us a great message on mission in this past Sunday’s lesson “Start Where You Are”. If you didn’t get a chance to be with us, you can view the lesson on Facebook or on the Central website. Sunday, we were once again reminded of the charge we have been given to be lights where we’ve been lit, and to shine the light wherever we go, or “as we go” as Leon likes to say.

Too many times, we as Christians are subject to the dangers of diminishing our calling to serve where we are.

I read an article several years back called, “The One Word Leaders Should Stop Using”. The article was referring to the dangerous word “JUST”. Now there are harmless versions of this word such as, “He is a good and just man”, or even “I just left the supermarket and I’m on my way.” The “just” we’re talking about might be used to say, “He’s just a member” or “She’s just here to help.”

The word “just” used in these ways acts as a detractor, a diminisher, a place-holding word that we say without thinking, but communicate something dangerous.

Leon mentioned in his sermon that often we might see mission as a way of serving God overseas, or if I were only the type of person that could go to this place or that place instead of “JUST” being here…in Arkansas…in Little Rock. Perhaps we think we’d be able to be more effective if we were a full-time missionary or a minister instead of “JUST” a teacher, or a salesman, or a stay-at-home parent.

Even subconsciously, we minimize our worth and value as Christians by playing down the role we play where we are, with the people we are with, in the community we are in. One could even say that such a devaluing of one’s potential communicates a lack of faith in how God is working in our lives.

I listened to Tammy Beck stand in front of the congregation asking for servants for this week’s Trunk-Or-Treat. There may be some in our number who might say, “That’s just a kid thing”, or perhaps “I just hand out hot dogs”. Can you hear it?

I guarantee that the Becks don’t consider this “just a kid thing”, because they’ve made lasting relationships with families that they met by handing out Halloween candy. And I’m glad that we have people like Toni Spears who don’t consider her role “just handing out hot dogs”. Instead, these people and many others are tapping into the ministry of service, and take on the opportunity to serve each and every person at each and every opportunity, and do so joyfully, lovingly…no just about it.

Join with me and let’s try and take this word out of our vocabulary. Look at the life you’re living and see what opportunities God has put in your path to serve others, and then let us serve joyfully with love and compassion where we are.

Chad Tappe

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