“For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice” (Zechariah 4:10).
Zechariah was sent to encourage the continued building of the temple of God after the return from Babylon. Some who saw the temple and remembered Solomon’s temple, despised the new temple as it paled in comparison. Zechariah reminds the people, that Zerubbabel, the governor of Judea, will finish the temple, and it will be a grand thing, even though it will not be like Solomon’s. I am reminded of this verse today as I reflect on our VBS last week.
Our culture in North America is one of an ever increasing “bigger and better” nature. The only things that are ever seen as successful are the things that are bigger and better. Whether it’s who can build the tallest building, who can run the 100 meter dash the fastest, or who’s stadium can hold the most people, we only care about the biggest and the best. Unfortunately, for many of us, we will never be the biggest and the best. Does this mean we are unsuccessful in the task? Never!
In North America though, we view success in ministry in terms of numbers. Who has the most people at their services? Who has the most members, the most baptisms, the most children in Sunday School. It’s easy to become discouraged when you realize that your small little group of believers is never going to be “successful” when you view things in this light. Zechariah reminds us that we must not despise even the smallest works of God, for they are a time to rejoice in God’s work and provision. Some of you may not know yet, but our efforts to put on the first VBS at our church in years resulted in 3 children attending. To some, they would be extremely disappointed that for all the time and money they spent preparing for this VBS, that there were only three children. I think instead, you need to be incredibly excited that three children came regularly to hear the Word of God taught to them. Here’s some neat things about this VBS:
The children who attended all had familial connections to one of our church members. Why is that important? It’s important because it shows that the effort spent reaching out and inviting friends and families is not in vain, and that sometimes the best way to reach people with the Gospel is to build relationships with them.
The most awesome thing I heard was that these children would prefer to come to VBS than the carnival. Some were concerned that we would have low turnout because of the annual carnival last week, and surely it had an influence on our attendance. Yet, to hear those children say they would rather hear the Gospel, memorize Scripture, do crafts, play games, and hang out with a bunch of older folks, rather than go on all the rides at the carnival should be incredibly encouraging to you all.
It was wonderful to see our folks all come together and lend a hand to reach out to these children. Whether it was games, crafts, refreshments, teaching, helping, or whatever needed to be done, to see folks come together to work hard to make VBS enjoyable and Gospel-oriented is so encouraging for a pastor to see. I am so thankful for all of you and all the effort you put in. I hope you’ll plan to help us again next year as we continue to try to reach children and their families with the Gospel.
Think too about the Gospel that these children heard and saw demonstrated in the lives of those who served them last week. We do not know what kind of seed was planted or how God will make it grow. But I do know, that God’s Word never returns void. What a wonderful blessing to invest in the lives of these children with the riches of the Gospel.
Lastly, don’t stop the momentum of reaching out to children. We need help to start Sunday School this fall. Maybe these three children will be there too? We have no idea, but what we do know is it is our job to reach out to families with the truth of God’s Word.