With some people, the mindset seems to be that if one does not do something that is extra-special or does not put him in the headlines, then that person is not contributing much to the Lord’s Cause. The truth is, there are a number of things which a child of God could do, things that some might count as tiny or insignificant, but they can be helpful to God’s work.
In His “Parable of the Talents,” Jesus told about a man who was pleased with and rewarded servants who were “faithful over a few things” (Matthew 25:21,23). They were limited in what they had and what they could do, but their efforts with “a few things” were commendable. In another instance, the Master said, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10). We again see that in the Lord’s eyes, it is not about how much or how little one does, but the person’s faithfulness in using what he has.
Small, non-difficult gestures can be helpful in the Lord’s work. They may not sound exciting or super-duper, but they can play a positive role in helping people learn the gospel, stay strong in the Lord, or be restored to their first love. Here are some of the little things that a Christian could do (and the order in which they are listed is irrelevant):
A word of encouragement – Whether it is a disappointed fourteen-year old boy or a recently- widowed sister, taking the time to let them know we care could “make their day” and help motivate them not to grow weary in well-doing (Galatians 6:9).
A compliment/pat on the back – There are kids, spouses, and elders who hear only criticism when certain people speak to them. A verbal or literal pat on the back for something done well can help lift their spirits and cause them to persevere (Hebrews 12:1).
An invitation – More than a few people first became acquainted with the gospel when a member of the church invited them to a Bible study, “regular” service, or a special activity. It is not hard to say, “We would love to have you come.” That may be all it takes to get a person started on the path to heaven!
A ride/transportation – Some disciples of Jesus go beyond inviting people: they also provide transportation for them. That is a nice, personal gesture. Many kids and adults alike have been blessed to learn the truth because a caring Christian who is their neighbor, friend, or family member regularly provided them with a ride to the church’s services.
A visit to tend to someone’s needs – That might include providing food, drink, clothing, lodging, or just a piece of our time. Remember, when we do that to Jesus’ brethren, we are doing it to Him (Matthew 25:35,36). A helping heart sends a powerful message.
A service provided – It might be helping an elderly person purchase groceries, collect their medication, or carry out their trash. Serving one another in love is what saints do (Galatians 5:13).
A small financial contribution – When the poverty-stricken Christians in Macedonia put their small amounts together, it was a great assistance to other needy saints and served as a great example for reluctant givers (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
A listening ear – There is a time to speak, but also a time to be quiet and listen (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Some who feel neglected, are dealing with intense trials, or facing tough decisions may just need someone to give them a few minutes of their time. We all could do that, could we not?
A greeting – When non-Christians visit our assemblies and we see them but fail to greet them, we are sending a message, and that message is, “We do not really care about you and your presence today is not important to us.” Guess what? If I were treated like that (ignored), I would have no interest in returning to such a place, would you? It takes very little effort on our part to greet our visitors both before and after services. How we treat them during those two critical time periods may go a long way in their decision to visit us or not visit us again.
A kind gesture – Opening the door for an injured person or a mother carrying a small child will not result in us receiving a financial reward, but it is an act of common courtesy and kindness. That is the kind of people God wants us to be (1 Peter 3:8).
A prayer – We may not be able to visit every single person who attends our services, but in our own time we can pray for each one by name. We read in several of Paul’s letters that he prayed without ceasing or prayed night and day for others (2 Timothy 1:3). You and I could do that, too! Many are appreciative when they learn that we are praying for them.
A correction of a mistake – More than once people have told us, “Money is the root of all kinds of evil.” Actually, the Bible says that it is the love of money that is the root of such (1 Timothy 6:10). Gently helping a person see his error has the potential to be a life-changer for him.
A bringing – A fisherman by the name of Andrew brought his brother to Jesus. That action was not hard to carry out. That brother whom he introduced to the Christ was a fellow by the name of Simon Peter (John 1:40-42). As the old saying goes, “The rest is history.”
— Roger D. Campbell