Small Things

A few weeks ago my congregation celebrated a special children’s worship service called “Children’s Sabbath.” The theme was on doing “small things” for God. In reality, serving God is almost always about doing small things, as the following story reminds us.

The story comes from the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. You have probably never heard of Maranatha Baptist Church. However, you have heard about their most well-known members—Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. For decades now, ex-governor and ex-president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn have been faithful members of that little congregation. Since the church is small, everyone has to pull their weight, including Jimmy and Rosalynn. They teach Sunday school, serve as deacons, and do a host of other things for their church.

A few years ago a young man went to visit the Maranatha Baptist Church. He went to Jimmy Carter’s Sunday school class, and then stayed for the worship service. As he walked into the sanctuary, an usher handed him the morning bulletin. It looked like most any other church bulletin. On the inside, it listed the order of worship. On the outside, it listed that week’s announcements, including a list of volunteers for the week. And that’s what captured his attention. In the list of volunteers, the bulletin said: “Rosalynn Carter will clean the church next Saturday. Jimmy Carter will cut the grass and trim the shrubbery.”

I’ve since learned that Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter regularly do chores at their church, including vacuuming the carpet, mowing the grass, and scrubbing the toilets. Even the ex-President and ex-First Lady of the United States of America understand that serving Jesus is mostly about doing small things that, over time, make a big difference.