As you can see, the title of the talk: “Little is Much When God is in It.” This came to me about a month ago. We had a missionary visit at our church. I attend Arvada Baptist Church and been there for about 18 years, and we had this missionary group come in that we have supported for decades, and I knew what they did. They’ve come through, and you know how missionaries, they’ll give an update, and they’ll say, “Here’s what we’ve been doing.” I knew that when I heard “Couriers for Christ,” I knew that they would get Bibles, buy Bibles, and get them into countries that didn’t allow them. Back in the day, they would go to Russia and places like that and work with Bibles.
Well, something that Sunday night about a month ago, the way that the speaker, and this was one of the co-founders of the organization, the way that he explained it, something just triggered in my mind, and I was thinking, “Ooh, now that’s new, and that’s different. I hadn’t heard how they explained that before. “It got me thinking, even during the service, and, afterwards, I went and spoke to him, and I said, “Hey! I’m in marketing, and I help clients with expanding their brand online and getting new customers or following up, and you said something that interested me: Campaign …” And I started giving him some of these thoughts, and I said, “From the business perspective, here’s what it made me think.” And then I said, “From the ministry perspective, boy, doesn’t that fit?”
I started just giving him some thoughts and ideas, and he said, “We, as missionaries, don’t get this kind of training in school and on deputation. They don’t teach this type of thing.” I gave them a couple of thoughts, and so we spoke and left, and my father-in-law’s pastor of the church, so I knew I could get back in touch with him, and I knew where to find him. But then it got me thinking about, “Well you know what?” I saw a little need, and so it got me thinking. About 2 days later, Jim says, “Hey, you want to speak at KBA in August?” and I said, “I know exactly what I want to talk about,” which is “Little is Much When God is in It.”
This is just a brief overview of what this ministry does. We’re not going to go over all sections, as you notice just the highlighted areas. They provide scriptures to the persecuted Christians under communist oppression. Second block: Distribution campaigns of Bibles, New Testaments, John, Romans, doctrinal literature. Then look at that third block in the middle there: Campaigns are hosted by American missionaries who are starting a new church or have trained nationals to oversee a church. During the campaign, participants will distribute Gospels of John and Romans, along with invitations in the language of the people, invite the recipients to a preaching service.
And then I just did this here because kind of illustrates what they do. They distribute the materials. I put “free” there in bold and with an asterisk because, from a business perspective, don’t we all need something to snap us out of what we … Remember back a few years ago when you’d be watching TV and the commercial volume would go way up, because why? You’ve left the room, they know that, to go get something or go in the other room, and they want to catch your attention. It’s called interruption marketing. Well, interruption marketing doesn’t work anymore. You’ve got to have something of value.
I teach marketing for a few universities, and, literally, one of the basic definitions of marketing is an exchange. You’re exchanging your product or service for that customer’s money, and there has to be trust involved in all of those things. Well, look at this piece here: They distribute materials, they’re giving out Gospels of John and Romans and literature, and they’re saying that a free Bible is given to all attendees of this service that’s held in a local event center.
I thought, “Ooh, that is good.” A lot of people, A, want something free, and, B, they know they can’t get a Bible and they want to get that. I thought that was such a neat way to draw people in. And then the event center is used, for the next 30 days, for meeting with the attendees, and, from there, they invite them to the local church. They don’t go out on the streets and say, “Would you like to come to church?” They get them to an event, so this is held at a local event center, so it’s an event. It’s something to talk about. Not just, “Hey, drop on by some Sunday!”
It’s something to talk about, they have an inducement to come in, they held the event, and then at the event, this is what caught my attention, he kept using the word “campaign,” “campaign,” because this whole thing that we’re showing here is what they call a campaign. Well, at the event, they have everyone fill out sort of like what you all did, and you do it every month, but a card.
They filled out their name and their contact info, and I said, “Oh, well what kind of contact info do you get from these people?” And this is Romania or whatever country you’re in, “Oh, we get everything. Name and address and phone number …” and I said, “Well how about email addresses?” “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.” “How about cell numbers? What’s the percent of …” He goes, “Everyone’s got cell numbers. They’ll have a cell phone with one suit of clothes. They’ll have one change of clothes in their possession, but they’ll want to have that cell phone.”
That’s what got me asking them, “Well, you had mentioned-” This slide. Look at this. “You had mentioned that you get people into this event and then you invite them to come back either to future events or the church service.” Look at how, in 2014, 90,000 John and Romans were distributed, 371 saved, and then 2014, 83,027. The column that I would’ve loved to have seen there is how many came to that event and the follow-up events, because for 371, in businesses called sales, but decisions, saved, how many people did not make the decision? How many people came and sat in an auditorium like this didn’t make the decision? Because in a group like this, it would’ve been one person. So out of 371, probably 1,370 came, right? Something to that effect.
I said, “Wow, wouldn’t it be a great way? You’ve already got the data, you’ve got this card, how could you follow-up? Could you send …” whatever that it is. Now, from a business standpoint, and keep in mind, these countries, they don’t go to highly affluent countries, so you’re probably not going to send a Bluetooth text campaign to these people, but I’ll bet you everyone could get an email. I’ll bet you everyone could get, whatever the case is.
I gave them a couple thoughts, and I was like, “Ooh, even if all those people,” let’s just use 1,000 as a number, “What if 1,000 people got a thank you as a follow-up referencing that event in maybe an email?” A subject line: “Hey, thanks for coming!” Maybe the speaker gave like a 2-minute, they pulled out their phone and said, “Hey, thank you so much for coming! We just really hope that your heart was touched, and we’re here, we’re in town, and we invite you to come back,” or, “Here’s the local church.”
I wonder if that 371 could be 372, right? I think that too many times people are, “It could be 4 million!” It could, but what if one? Didn’t Christ leave the 99 to go get, how many? The 98? No! The one! So what if that 371 could be 372? What if that 27 could be 28? And what I described to him, and what I can do in my skills and abilities, was just nothing, because I guarantee you your skills and your skills and your skills, if you describe something to me that you did, and I would go, “Wow.”
My 11-year-old son can do things that I’m like, “How do you do that?” I don’t even know which end of the hammer’s up, and he’s got a train set, and I don’t know anything about wiring, and one day I come home and he’s got the train all wired. He’s like, “Yeah, I just stapled it and I did this,” and I was like, “How did you even know?” “I don’t know, I just did it.” But literally, that’s how things work. Well, he could show one of your kids how to do that, but I would probably get shocked.
But I think the thing to keep in mind is what I described to him, to me, was just like, “Oh, yeah.” If I sat down, I could come up with some elaborate- but, A, it’s not necessary, because I think that sometimes we get analysis paralysis in anything we do. Ministry, business, your life, personal. We go, “Oh, and then we could, and then we could,” and then nothing happens.
I think we need to, number one, I might’ve said this before, but one of my favorite motivational speakers is Les Brown, and he’s famous for saying, “Jump, and grow your wings on the way down,” meaning just get out there and do it! Make some mistakes! Fail forward! Get something started, and then tweak it later. “Ooh, that worked pretty good. I’m going to now try this later.” With this example here that I just mentioned to him, it was like deer in the headlights to them. To me, I was like, “Oh, that’s just my first pass.”
This is where I do some workshops and things like that, but this is like 2 slides that I pulled from one of those. For follow-up, you need to build leads, educate them, and follow-up. We can do probably a 3-hour seminar on build leads, but educate. Now think of this from the business standpoint. You need to get business leads for your business, you need to educate them about not only your business but about things that help them, and then follow-up, because guess what? You’re busy. The point is people’s attention is different.
How about this from a business standpoint? Every prospect that sees your advertising message will not be ready to buy or willing to buy your product or service immediately. True or false? True! If you don’t follow-up with them, somehow, someway, maybe they, oh, they got a coupon for someone else. Automotive: there’s a competitor or two, right? But from a spiritual standpoint, think about the campaigns in Russia that we just talked about, Couriers for Christ. Is everyone, when they get that first literature, ready to go make a decision? Nope. Look at this week what we saw. 90,000 given out, 371 decisions. Not everyone was ready to make a decision for eternity in that campaign.
How about this? No matter how great the connection at the time a lead contacts or visits your business, the longer you wait to follow-up with them, the more they forget you. I’ve seen some stats on this. If you wait a month, you lose 10 percent influence for every month you don’t contact someone, whether it’s a current customer or a prospect. Now, on the ministry side, think of this ministry we were talking about. And you know what? This ministry that I’m mentioning is only because they came through my church.
Think of a ministry that you guys know of. Think of a non-profit locally. Think of anything. When I’m mentioning this concept, does this mean that that ministry is just horrible? No! It just means that there is an opportunity, and I think things, when you can phrase them the right way, there’s not a problem. It’s an opportunity. There’s an opportunity for them to go, “Oh, yeah, we could do this a little bit better, but they don’t have the bandwidth.” No matter how great your connection is, so think of the ministry or how great the event was, if you don’t follow-up with them, you’ve lost a lot of that momentum.
I put the arrow right there to show the same slide we just showed. Their campaign happened, and then afterward, what if? What if something could be done to help them out for their follow-ups? I reached out to the missionary, and I gave him like a 2 paragraph overview of what I just showed you, and he emails back and says, “Thank you. I’m taking this to the board, and we’re going to talk and get back to you.”
Now, maybe I can report back in a few months and go, “Hey, you know, maybe that 371 turned to 372,” or, “Maybe it was just a nice, helpful thing.” I don’t know, but what I could do is something that I knew how to do, and maybe it even cost me 2 dollars or 10 dollars or an hour or two of my time, but it’s not the money aspect. It’s something where I could say, “I saw an opportunity and a need, and I could fill in. I could fill that in there.”
Think of the phrase “little is much when God is in it.” It sounds good to position it how I just did, which is you do a little bit, God amplifies it. Now, let’s look at the antithesis of that mindset, because isn’t it true that some people, none of us, but some people would do the minimal to get by. Like I mentioned, I teach classes, and I see this so many times because I teach online. There’s the minimum requirement for this class: You have to be in 3 days of the week and post at least twice in the discussion forum. When I grade the discussion forums at the end of the week, guess what I see? 3 and 2, 3 and 2, 3 and 2. Okay, that’s great and fine, but you know what? When I see 4 and 10, and then, of the 10, I see like mega-paragraphs, that says something.
I think that when we have the mindset of, “What can I do just to get by?” or “What’s the minimal I can do?” So I just do a little, and God takes it from there, right? The picture came to my mind, I’m on the couch, and I’ve got the remote, and I’m talking to someone on the phone or texting, and I’m watching this, and it’s like, “Oh yeah, God, yeah, I’m going to do a Bible verse post on Facebook.” “Okay, God, there! There’s my little! Do something with it!” And you’re like almost just throwing that scrap to God because little is much when God is in it.
Well that’s not the right attitude, because, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” What’s the teaching there? Diligence, storing up for the winter, not just that ant going out and getting one thing for the day. Proverbs 21:5: “The plans of the diligent lead to advantage.” God wants us to think of ways to have our little be something that we can do in our own power that we are skilled at, because someone in here probably has, if we went around the room, we probably have some skill like what’s one skill that people don’t know about you that if they knew, they would be like, “Wow, really?” “Well, I can do underwater basket weaving,” or something odd. There’s some skill that we all have that’s like, “Oh yeah, I can do that.”
I’ve mentioned this to people before, there’s some ministries out there that you would not have thought would be a ministry, but wow. How about The Power Team? Remember them from back in the day? I think they still are around. They lift heavy stuff. How about the karate teams that minister using their skill? Well maybe there was some kid that goes, “Oh, yeah, yeah. Karate? Well, what if I could turn that into a ministry?” The plans of the diligent lead to advantage. Go to the ant, consider her ways, and be wise. But then, look at this.
We had another missionary come back last week, and he was 26 years in Mexico, but he was a cattle farmer or a dairy farmer in Colorado Springs, and he made some interesting analogies, and he said, “I kind of look at my flock in Mexico as my herd I used to have, because I’d have to go acquire them. Sometimes, I would acquire them by buying them, sometimes, it was through reproduction. Well, how would that relate to the ministry? Well, I could go take over a church. I could teach you to talk to you to talk to you, that is but through reproduction.” But his message was the harvest is plenteous, but the labors are few.
He gave this example too. Do you know about the verse where it says, “The grain is white in the harvest?” Do you know what that means? And I’m not a farmer, but what they say is when the grain is white, it’s like that close to being too late. You got to get it well before it’s white so when you see it white, “Get off there!” That’s what the verse means, it’s white in the harvest, meaning it’s not just a teeny little sprout, so hope you can get out there and make it work. It’s white in the harvest meaning let’s get to it.
I wanted to have this slide here to make the contrast that when I say the word “little is much when God is in it,” it doesn’t mean that the littlest thing that it could just fit into your day so you can get to the other 400 things that you do, and you know what? When we all, and I’m saying “us” because it’s not you or you or you, when we go, “Oh, I don’t have time for …,” whatever, fill in the blank, but I’ll bet you had time to watch that thing or go to that place. We have time to fit in the things we want to fit in.
I remember way back in the day, does anyone remember the song “Little is Much When God is in It?” It’s kind of like an old song. We’ve found a newer version of it, and I wanted to play this here real quick. Okay. One of the lines in there was talking about “the qualified.” Did you pick up on that one? Have you ever heard this phrase: “God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called?” “Well, you can’t go to the mission field! You don’t have a Bible degree! You can’t speak the language!” I know that, growing up, I remember being in a gymnasium at our church, and you would feel like, “Oh, I’m not going to raise my hand for whatever it is,” because, every time you do that, they make you come forward, or, “Hey, who gets called to full-time missions?” I’m not called to be in full-time missions. But you know what? There’s things we can do here.
And here’s the final thought. God’s given each of us skills and talents that could be used for his glory when we do our small part that we already are skilled at doing. Now, does that mean if you have a feel like, “Ooh, I would love to learn this skill and use it in-” Wonderful. But you know what that could be? That could be you, me, going, “Oh yeah, I could do that,” down the road, but right now, I’ve got this thing going on, and I’m busy. But what do you have right now? What are you skilled at doing right now and he can use it with a big impact?
In the song, he used the words “the seeds.” God could do big things with the seeds you’re planting. Well, think about it. You know the analogy of the sower and the planet and the waterer and someone harvests. Maybe you’re not the one that gets to harvest, maybe you’re the one in the background. What skills do you have?
I guess I’ll phrase my final thought with, “What can you do?” My idea that I just explained isn’t spectacular, it’s just my piece that I can offer to this particular organization or any. Now, let’s take that a whole other direction or amplify that, does that mean that I now can go and do that 8 hours a day to every ministry out there? Yeah, good, but then how do I put food on my table? I think that we also don’t need to feel guilty that we have a skill, and we can offer it to someone that comes across our path.
You ever read that book “Prayer of Jabez” from way back in the day? Remember how Bruce Wilkinson starts it out by saying, “I felt so guilty saying ‘God blessed me a lot.'” But think about it in the sense of if God blesses you so much that you have so much built up, you almost feel so grateful too, and you have so much to give. Haven’t you had the time where you just get into the day so much, and you look back and you go, “Where’d that energy come from?” because you were just into it. In that same book, he uses the phrase “Jabez moments.” Aren’t there times in our day that we’re flying 100 directions, and we don’t take the time. “Well I don’t see those things in my life.” Well, you know what? They’re there. Maybe we just need to slow down just enough to notice them.
Maybe how about this? Here’s just something crazy and dumb, I’m sure. In the car, how many of you leave the radio off when you drive? … Great, and there’s no right or wrong answer. But aren’t there people, me included, you just got to have something going all the time. Talk radio, music, whatever that it is. Well maybe, possibly, in those times of even just driving from place to place when there is nothing coming at us, maybe that is where God can go, “You know that guy you just met, talked to, got an email from,” whatever it is. And think of your skillsets. Those Jabez moments could be a Jabez moment when you got an email. Doesn’t have to be some bright light and a ray of epiphany, it could just be that email was like, “You know what? We really need something.”
What is a skill that you have? In this thought here, what can you do? I would also encourage you this: On the KBA website, there’s a section called “Service Spotlight,” and there’s an interview in there that I was talking to Brian a few months ago, and he told of an example just like this. Does that mean that his example all of a sudden now has to be the focal point of his business and done 10, 20, 30 times a day? Nope. But it’s a nice touch. Who was it? Eric…I was talking about salt right before we came in. Well, think of some things as salt, but, if it’s too much, it what? Loses its savor. Some things can lose its savor not because it’s not effective but maybe because it takes us out of balance to be another place God wants us to be, like maybe serving another client.
Do you guys take time to pray for your customers, your clients? Maybe pray with, but watch for these areas. I don’t know everyone’s profession in here, but what if there’s a graphic designer? Do you know that graphic design is an art form, literally, but it’s also a skill-set. What if you’re an attorney? Does that mean you have to do pro bono work all the time? If you fix cars, do you have to fix cars for less fortunate people every single time? No.
The thing that hit me here is little is much, it can be much, but little is much when God’s in it. And, you know, I think that too many times we feel like we have to take the reins, right? Because what if the example I gave is, “Oh, I could do- And then, ooh, then I-” and then you’re like sprinting down the road going, “God, come on!” and, “I’m doing this for you!” It’s like, “No, all I wanted was this right here,” because do you know that sometimes you can do too much and it be mis-perceived?
Do you know that I’ve had times where I’ve offered something to someone and they’re like, “What’s the catch?” and you’re like, “Nothing! I just was thinking if I …” I mean literally, and it sounds funny to say, but literally, maybe it is just that one little, “Hey, well I’d be happy to do this for your ministry.”
I would encourage you to watch for ways in the next few days. Remember that slide that I mentioned about the longer you wait to follow-up with someone? Well the longer you wait to put something into action in your own life, the easier it is for this just to kind of go “woo,” and you leave this building, and you pull out your phone, and you’ve got a text or an email or a voicemail, and you get back to the office, and you’re right back in your day.
Watch for ways where this concept can be used in even smaller ways than what ultimately you could be, because you know what? Getting into that momentum and doing one little thing, and you go, “Oh, that was easy. I could do that again. That was easy.” Now, one day down the road, you can do a teeny bit more, but if everyone in here did not work out consistently, and I said, “Work out 2 hours today and 2 hours every single day for the next 6 days,” after a period of time, that’s way too much. But if I said 15 minutes, “Oh, I could do that.” If I said go full-time and do something, that would be too much. What can we do, what can you do, in a small way?
Focus in on the skillsets. If you notice that line there that we already are skilled at doing, focus there. Maybe, one day, God leads it on your heart to pick up a new skill to use for him, maybe even along with this one activity that he’s laid on your heart. But what do you already do that you’re skilled at? And it doesn’t have to be your main profession. You might love fly fishing, and that’s not your main profession, but maybe it’s like, “Well you know what? I just heard that this church group, their missions trip fell through, and now, wow, I can maybe them on an outdoor-” You never know where things could lead. I would just say to keep your eyes wide open, remember the phrase “little is much when God is in it,” and then what can you do?
And then, also, I would just add this last piece. Matthew 9:37, we covered it, but just this really just buttons it up: “Then saith he unto his disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.” Let’s close in a word of prayer.
Father, we just thank You for the abilities You’ve given us, big and small. Help us to have eyes to see needs around us. Help us to have eyes to see abilities and places we can fill in in the foreground, in the background, in a supporting role, and something that would come across our path, that we can even encourage something or encourage a missionary or encourage someone, a friend, someone that ministers for You that we can be a part of that. Just help us to have eyes to see these opportunities and just to slow down enough to hear Your still small voice in our lives and to be able to have those small moments that we can give back to You. Thank You for the abilities that You have gifted us with. In Jesus’s name we pray, amen.