Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Multiple Choice

I am involved in several things I like to call ministry.  Everything from this blog, to my YouTube channel, and my Home Group at church.  In more than one category lately I have been suffering from a great deal of discouragement.  The main source of those feelings stems from the number (or lack-thereof) of people in the audience.  I have one video on YouTube that has over ten thousand htis.  But the average video is lucky to get fifty.  This blog usually gets 15 to 40 hits per day but an average of 0.045 comments.  It's impossible to know if those hits are from people searching Google images for my funny photo posts or if they are actually stopping in, reading, and benefiting from my offerings.

On Sunday, I was asked to lead our home group.  I prepared a lesson from the sermon series of Isaiah where he is commissioned as a prophet to Israel.  One couple showed up and I am pretty sure they came because I ran into them downstairs and asked if they were coming.  I ditched my lesson and took the time to get to know them better.  It was time well spent and arguably a divine appointment.  But that did not stop me from reflecting on the low attendance level and the effort wasted on preparing my lesson.  It didn't stop me from getting discouraged and wondering what God is up to.

He hasn't left His throne and I haven't questioned for a moment that He is in charge.  I just wonder if I am serving in the area of ministry that I should be.  I don't think I'm making much impact.  And I keep coming back to one of two scenarios that could be in play here...a sort of multiple choice that I am praying through.  Either God wants me to (a) learn and be alright with playing to an audience of one with the understanding that He (if no one else) is watching, reading, and enjoying how I share my faith.  Or perhaps (b) the lack of interest is my sign to hang up these hats and move on.  Find a place and a method where I am more effective.  I can honestly say that I do not know the right answer.  At least not yet.

5 comments:

Melissa said...

I know exactly how you feel. I took over a Bible study in our neighborhood and it is basically the same three people every time (including me)! It does get discouraging at times, but I know it helps me and I like the intimacy of a small group. I also attend another that meets once a month, and there are usually only 3-4 in attendance, but I look forward to it every time because it means so much to me. It matters not how many hearts you move. A small stone thrown into a pond makes many waves, though it does not touch every bit of the water. On the other hand, the thought to consider using your efforts in other ways may be God calling you in another direction. Just keep listening!

Jim said...

Thanks Melissa. There is certainly some comfort in a shared experience even if its shared frustration. I will keep listening because I really do want an answer to this. I feel compelled to share. What I don't know is if this is the method I am supposed to use.

Mike Messerli said...

I'm with you Jim. We have dialogued on this as well....what do we do and how do we reach out or should we? What is God doing and what is our role? Great thoughts and challenging. Thanks.

Jim said...

In part, our dialog is what inspired me to write about it. It just so happens that I was already feeling this way, so your thoughts just emphasized my situation. I need to take my own advice though and use this medium as a journal. If people read it, great. If they don't I am still honing my writing skills and documenting my journey for posterity sake.

archangel said...

I understand your frustration brother, but bottom line is we will never be able to judge or quantify our successes and failures until heaven. Look at Jesus pouring his life out for 3.5 years to 12 guys. On the surface, one betrayed, one denies 3x's and the rest scatter. But since He poured His life into them, they changed the world. Maybe just one listener is influenced and launched into his ministry that produces a 1000 fold. You will get a piece of that reward in heaven. It's impossible to measure. With TBN and mega-churches we fall to the idea that bigger means better when the opposite is true. I would rather disciple 10 people my whole life then preach hit and miss messages to millions. much respect