Repost: Loving the many vs loving the few

When you invest your life into someone; as a pastor, mentor, friend, helper, brother – you’re loving one person — just one — in many ways. Many many ways. Time, meals, prayer, hugs, bible-reading together, the works.

But by doing that, you’re implicitly choosing NOT to love many people. As finite, limited, time-bound creatures, we just can’t love many people in many ways.

But, we do find ourselves loving many people in a few ways; preaching, leading prayers, teaching scripture, uploading the sermon for other people, photocopying the outlines. All these activities love many people, sometimes 100s or 1000s of people. But they only love them in a few ways. They’re not holistic expressions of love, but they are expressions of love non-the less.

This means:

1. A body of people can love each other in many ways when they all take care of loving the many in a few ways (sounds very 1Cor12 right?)

2. Most (but not all) “loving-many-in-a-few-ways” are formal ministry roles. Most (but not all) “loving-few-in-many-ways” are informal ministry roles.

3. Have you thought about how many you’re loving in a few ways? Or who you’re loving in many ways?

Do you care about everyone?

I hope you do. We all want to care about everyone. But often we can end up only caring for the few who are loudest. We listen to the vocal minority, and end up ignoring the silent majority.

It doesn’t mean the loud few are wrong; they might be right. But just because you’re looking to protect a few people doesn’t mean you’re looking after everyone. In fact, you might be thinking of everyone in a completly wrong way…

When you think of everyone, do you mean all the adults in your church? What about all the kids? Are you somehow caring for the obvious adults, but in that very action, not caring about the unseen kids in classes?

Or maybe your “everyone” is every person in your church… but is that every person in church on Sunday? Or every person in a GrowthGroup? Who are you not caring about then?

And what about the people in your suburb? Are you so caring about the people in your church, that you’re neglecting to care about the people in your community?

How would your decisions, programs, plans look different if you tried to take everyone into account, rather than just a few people?