I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints—that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.1 Corinthians 16:15-16 NKJV
The Bible is full of great heroes of the faith, but for every famous person there are hundreds, even thousands, of people who serve faithfully and quietly and effectively. I have been kind of stuck on these folks lately. I think of Lydia, the lady who housed Paul and Silas in Philippi. Or how about Aquila and Priscilla who hosted a house church in Ephesus. Maybe my favorite is the guy who is known only as the Madman of Gadara to most of us. His obedience to share his testimony opened a whole region to the Gospel. How about the many who brought the sick to lie on the side of the road, hoping Peter’s shadow might fall on them? You get the idea.
It’s wonderful and inspiring to read about these heroes in the background and try to picture how life must have looked in that day. No sound equipment, no AC, no kid’s church, no coffee bar…Oh, my! The great thing for us is that we have the opportunity to meet and serve with dozens of present-day examples of humble service. The number one fringe benefit of being in ministry these many years has been meeting so many truly delightful, humble, faithful servants of God. It’s easy to dwell on the con artists and the goofies, the professionally needy and the lukewarm, but reality is that there are many, many more of the silent servants.
As we head for church today, let’s make it our business to notice and appreciate our precious connections with God’s finest.