I sat across the table listening as this student poured out her new vision to me. God had given her a burning passion to serve Him on the mission field in East Asia. I was glad that she was so excited about something she sensed God was calling her to, and I didn’t want to throw cold water on the fire, but I had some real questions.
Maybe you can relate. A student says God has called him to missions, but he doesn’t show up when you ask him to lead a group. She believes God is telling her to start a new ministry but can’t seem to make it to class every day, and didn’t even finish out the semester last fall. At issue here is faithfulness in the small stuff, the everyday. And Jesus says it’s a problem. In Matthew 25:23, Jesus tells the story of the master and the servants. To the one that invested and multiplied what had been entrusted to him, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.’ But the one that only hid the gold, was chastised. Jesus says, “Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. (v.29)”
Many of our students know how to dream big dreams. Our culture has taught that well. But rarely does anyone talk about the many small steps along the way to get to those dreams. We want to cast vision for our students, and help them embrace God’s plan for their lives, but God’s plans include faithfulness in the small stuff. In fact, that kind of faithfulness is a necessity to get to the big stuff.
Encourage students to dream big and set high goals in their lives, but also be sure to ask them the hard questions about how they are going to get there. What inconsistencies need to be addressed? What obstacles need to be removed in order for them to be ready to pursue their goals? They want to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, but are they taking it to their own campus? They want to teach others God’s Word, but are they reading it themselves? Help them know the small stuff matters. It’s how God makes us ready for the big stuff.