Our local church, like many across the world, is made up of a number of people who would define themselves as “normal.” I don’t mean this in a pejorative sense. There is nothing wrong with that description whatsoever—I think most people see themselves as average, normal, or down to earth.
There is one family in particular in our church, who I was reminded of today, who work hard, love each other, and as a way of life seek to reach out to others. You probably have people like this in your church. They always bring people to church. They drive their kid’s friends to youth group meetings every week. They encourage their neighbors, clients, co-workers, grocery store clerks, and anyone else they come into contact with that they need to check out a Sunday. It seems like they know almost every other Christian in the city, whether they attend our church or another one locally. They are radically hospitable. They serve like crazy. They give generously. They love deeply. They journey with people. They are driven by an infectious zeal for the mission of Jesus. They don’t get paid to be this way. It is almost like they can’t help themselves. You can count on one hand the number of times they have missed church in the last year, and they made sure they let a pastor know when they’d be out of town. They didn’t do this out of obligation, but because they want you to know how much they missed being together on Sunday and how much they believe in you as their pastor.
The kingdom of God is made up of these people.
Hundreds of millions of people will never know their names, but those who do will know they can depend on them. Dozens of people will point back to their childhood, their teenage years, or the instance that they first met these people and directly associate their influence with the salvation of Jesus they experienced in their lives. The witness of this family led them there, to the foot of the cross, where they found life.
I am thankful for this family in my church. I’m thankful for the scores of families in my church that this blog describes. You are kingdom builders. Your reward in heaven will be sweet. You are a joy to pastor. The struggles that you fight through day after day to serve Jesus are literally building the kingdom of God. Thank you.
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:15-18