I was asked to retrieve some stories from the people who were part of the beginning days of our church; those who had been a part of the fellowship for more than fifty years. One anecdote came to my mind but I didn’t want to submit it without validating its accuracy.
I called the widow of the main character in this story and said, “I remember hearing that in the early days of our church, your husband, who had only been a Christian for a week, was invited by the pastor to be the Sunday School Superintendent.”
“Oh, yes, that’s true,” this widow replied. “The pastor met my husband in the lobby and invited him to be the Sunday School Superintendent. I called the pastor the following week and told him that my husband could not be the superintendent because he had only been a believer for one week and he had never even been to Sunday school.”
The pastor replied, “That’s good. We need some fresh ideas.”
The widow went on to say this assignment flourished into a wonderful ministry. “My husband loved children and the babies who would not go to anyone else would go to him.”
As I reflected on this story, I remembered the early paradigm where “any old bush will do.” The focus was not so much on ability as availability. Now, with decades of experience, I understand the critical need for a child protection policy and training for our children’s workers. Yet, I wonder if “we need some fresh ideas.” I have a longing in my heart for the days when prayerful dependence was a natural posture because we were trusted with responsibilities for which we had no ability.
In those stories, God was so big that we didn’t have to be.