In Lead more gently/ Live more simply

John Denver, fame, fortune and the local church

I love John Denver music.  I know this admission (or is it a confession?) dates me and probably makes me dorky in some people’s eyes.  That’s okay.  I still like John Denver music.  I love the tone of his voice, I love his guitar playing and I love his songs.   What can I say?  I’m a fan and this past Sunday I heard John Denver sing at church.

Now, I know he did not fake his death and I know he is not holing out here in Africa living a secret life.   I am aware that he was tragically killed in an accident and I mourn his passing.  However, as I stood in church listening to the worship leader sing, I heard John Denver.  He had the same tone, the same way of carrying a melody, the same lilt to his voice.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him sing and I was extremely grateful to this worship leader for volunteering his time and offering his gift to serve in an obscure church on the point of Africa.   As I listened I thought about the many people all over the world who offer their talent and their abilities to their respective churches.  In that moment last Sunday, I was truly grateful for this.

There are many talented people whose only audience is their church congregation.  How sad that we have a tendency to think that only the famous are truly gifted or truly talented.  Yet thousands of people faithfully serve in their church, giving of themselves, not realizing how immensely talented they are or how deeply they touch the lives of those around them.

When we simply serve, with no thought to fame or fortune, I believe amazing things take place.

  • We learn this deep spiritual truth – that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.
  • What we give gets multiplied – just like the boy with his loaves and fish.  We may never know how many lives we touch.
  • What we give becomes transformed – like the water that got turned into wine our service transforms into changed lives.
  • We learn how to obey– like the blind man who allowed Jesus to put spit and mud in his eye and through this obedience regained his sight.
  • We become more talented – like the stewards who did not bury their master’s money but who invested it to make more.   The master was so pleased he increased what they were originally given.

I’ve been a church leader for three decades and I have seen all these things happen as we faithfully use our talents. But the best thing that happens is when we become aware that the only audience that truly matters is God.

And we simply, humbly and gladly serve.

Question: Have you ever served others and wondered if anybody even notices?  How did you deal with this? Click here to leave a comment.

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