I don't know about you, but I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with social media. I love the way it provides a way to keep connections with people alive, beyond what I could probably realistically do on my own. And I'm grateful for the way it can be a space to share snapshots of our lives, to help us celebrate each other's victories and grieve with each other's sorrows. Not to mention at times simply giving me a reason to laugh.
For example, this…
In all seriousness though, I would be lying if I said I never struggled to maintain a good attitude about how to use social media, or how to manage the time and space it takes up in my life.
One of the things that might fall more in the "hate" part of my love-hate relationship is the way social media lends itself to a narrative that says quantity determines value. Wow that picture I posted only got 2 likes. It must not have been very good. Even if we don't want to admit it, I would guess most of us operate under the belief that more is better. The more people like what you post, the better it must be. Or if you're not on social media, it could simply be something like - the more people compliment that shirt you're wearing, the better it must be.
Don't we all want to be people who are liked by lots of people? Don't we sometimes believe that if we only had more friends (or authority or money or power or whatever else), our lives would matter more? It is easy to feel like the only way to do something that really matters is if it impacts a lot of people and makes a noticeably big difference.
But what if God's Kingdom isn't like that? What if in God's Kingdom, the little things matter just as much as the big things? What if they sometimes matter even more?
Think about how Jesus just had a few disciples. And how He built the whole entire church on that. And think about how small a seed is and how big a tree can grow - even if it's a small tree or just a flower. Maybe the real power is in seeing it grow, be passed on or spread. Let's not discount something because it's small. God is big and that's what matters.
Our God is the God who sees when a sparrow falls. He is the God who knows the number of hairs on our heads. He came to earth as a newborn baby. And Jesus said we will be rewarded by giving a cup of water to a little child. These are all little things. I know all of them to be true, and yet if I'm honest, I still don't often live like I actually believe them. But I want to.
Perhaps this is where prayer comes in. Maybe a place to start is to pray for God to grow in us a stronger sense of His economy, the one in which the little things that don't seem like they're making much of a difference do matter. The one in which that one person we helped mattered just as much if not more than the random thing we posted that got all those likes.
Even prayer itself can sometimes be one of these little things. We may wonder, are my prayers really making a difference? Do they matter? But I wonder if we are asking the wrong questions. I wonder if we get too easily caught up in the importance of what we are doing and spend too much energy trying to quantify the value of our work.
I have to chuckle at the irony of writing about this topic, considering that my role as part of the development team is to help our schools grow. How does one go about helping a non-profit organization (or for that matter, a church, a business, a website, etc.) grow without worrying about numbers? Isn't it tempting to think it's all about numbers? That more is most definitely better?
But again, back to prayer. As we pray for our schools, by God's infinite grace, in a mysterious way I believe we help to put them on the path of growing according to God's plans. We are asking Him to bring about growth in the way He desires. Sometimes that may be by increasing numbers quickly, other times the numbers may change at a different pace than we would have hoped.
Acts 2:44-47 is an inspiring picture of God providing growth: "And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met. They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved." (The Message)
Oh that God would be the One we are trusting to take care of helping us grow as we continue to faithfully serve Him, even (maybe especially) in the little things!
*I'm thrilled to begin sharing this blog with the West-Mont Christian community in addition to the BCS community. BCS and WCA have been partnering together in many aspects of school life for years, and recently the schools formed a brand new district together. The prayer ministry is just one area in which the schools will be coming together under one larger umbrella, and our hope is that all who have been praying for BCS will continue to pray and will welcome members of the WCA community to come alongside us and join in praying. While there will be differing needs for both schools, we can be united in our overarching goals of seeing God's Kingdom come, asking for His will to be done in and through both BCS and WCA. Pray with me...
... that each of us in the BCS/WCA communities would be faithful in the little things before us each day Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Matthew 25:23
... that God would help us to support each other through prayer and encouragement - students, parents, teachers, and everyone in our communities And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24
... that God would grow our schools according to His will Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. Isaiah 26:12
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory
~ Carrie Warner, BCS/WCA Prayer Team Coordinator