I used to be important. Not important like Alec Baldwin or rainbows, but important, nonetheless. I never really felt that important, but others assured me it was true. And I believed it, because I was the guy with the microphone.
It seems we have a way of placing importance on the person in the spotlight. Whether it’s politics, sports, a concert or a circus, the person center stage is the person we swoon over value. A microphone makes her smart; charisma makes him trustworthy; her head in a lion’s mouth makes her courageous; his screaming, “What’s up, Sacramentooooooooooo?” makes him an artist.
Spotlight. Recognition. Importance.
Church isn’t so different, you know. We have many similarities to politics and concerts and even circuses. The stage, the crowd, and the lights embolden the font that reads PREACHER. He is the guy with the microphone—he is the guy with his head in a carnivore’s mouth. Applaud on cue.
But importance isn’t always quantified by stage height or bulb wattage; not really. And I bet your pastor would be the first to tell you that.
In God’s vocabulary, importance is spelled s…e…r…v…a…n…t. The guy setting up chairs is valuable. The student greeting at the door is recognized. The nursery worker spraying Lysol is celebrated.
Recently, I was important. Not because someone told me I was, but because I served. I handed out information packets and gathered contact information at my church.
They didn’t need me to preach; there was no request for me to counsel; the only prayers I prayed were silent ones. I simply showed up and did my task like it was the most important task in the world. I lined up those packets with fervor, and I smiled like I was Tim Tebow in the end zone.
No congregation applauded my packet-straightening technique, and no overseer noted my improving back-slap-and-handshake combo. But I didn’t care. I was a volunteer. I was a servant. I was important for the first time in a long time.
You may not be in the spotlight. You may not bask in accolades. You may not tame the lion or attract the applause, but that doesn’t mean you’re not valuable. Meet a need; serve your church; find your place. Trust me, they’ve been waiting for your help.
Important people like you are hard to come by.