The Glory of the Small and the Simple

On many occasions, two preacher brothers have been discussing ways to do big things in the kingdom. Big things? To preacher brother A, that means to dream big– feeding programs for street children, medical missions, church-supported vocational school for drop-outs, radio programs, transportation ministry, etc. The list is endless. Preacher brother B feels dizzy counting.

They both confess they are small preachers trying to dream big. Brother B cannot afford even a run-down pick up; Preacher brother A has a run-down car he’s trying to improve. B cannot afford to rent an office (what does he need an office for?); A now has an air-conditioned cubicle carved at the side of their rented hall. A is going places; B could count only three places he could go to do evangelism. A once told B that he is limited by the visions his feet could afford to jump over; or, that B goes only where his eyes would lead him.

If preaching is a business, B is a SMALL retailer. B is an UNKNOWN SMALL retailer. Big retailers, like SM, Rustan, Ayala Malls, Robinsons, can afford to modernize, hire technology experts to help them conduct their businesses in a way that meets general customer needs and global expectations. Small retailers like him don’t have that luxury. Big preachers have vacations; all B can afford is a 30-minute nap in the silence of his upper room.

B is not dissuaded. As with most everything, he does things small and simple. Still shot pictures using the low cost Kodak camera he bought in Manila purposely to get some shots of the newly born addition to his family. B saw a young preacher hand gripping and clicking what he surmised was a digital camera, taking pictures of sights. “Pictures taken by this cam are downloadable to your PC.” He took a shot of B. That made B feel ignorant, if not stupid.

B’s ministries operate on affordable budgets, on what can be supplied by generosities of fellow Christians. Gasoline for his motorcycle is paid for by the small church to which he ministers. If gasoline fails, he walks. He once walked the distance from his home to the chapel on the hill, about 19 kilometers. The way is all going up. Left home at 12 noon and arrived at 5 pm. A church member became worried and tried to find him, and found him by the wayside. “Where is your motorcycle?” he asked. “In the mechanic’s shop.” “Let’s go get a ride to the chapel,” he said.

That night the church wanted to make sure B arrived home safely.

The lesson: Don’t let these modern dreams fool you. You can start small. You can even go primitive. Paul never had a home or a wife, never even had modern amenities. He followed his goal to serve his God in every way possible, fulfilled his mission to preach the gospel of His death, burial and resurrection, in season, or out, his method simple, his ways unassuming. Paul tried preaching in public, and in the seclusion of the Roman dungeons, with only the guards and the prisoners to listen to him. He may be bound, he said, but the gospel is not, and had christianized a lot of army men, and prisoners, and the noble, the free, and the simple, so that the name of Jesus became known even up the highest level in the ruling class. Paul died contented with being small and simple. The small and simple things he did made him great.

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