We too readily think of mission as extraordinary. Perhaps it’s because we think God moves through the spectacular rather than the witness of people like us. Perhaps it’s because we want to outsource mission to the professionals, so we invite people to guest services where an ‘expert’ can do mission for us. But most people live in the ordinary, and most people will be reached by ordinary people.
-Tim Chester in A Meal With Jesus
The more I read this quote from Tim Chester, the more I like it. The reason is because I think we forget that making disciples begins with our everyday ordinary lives doing everyday ordinary activities alongside those God has placed in our path.
Paul wrote that we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us (2 Corinthians 4:7). You can’t get any more ordinary than a “jar of clay.” There is nothing special about it. When it breaks, you trash it and get a new one.
The treasure inside however, is priceless. It’s the gospel. It is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).
How crazy to think that this glorious gospel is contained in an ordinary everyday vessel. But it is. And the reason, according to Paul, is so that God will get the glory. It’s not in our power to save anyone. It all belongs to God. And that’s quite obvious as God uses ordinary people.
John Piper gives some interesting insights into 2 Corinthians 4:7. He writes…
If you feel average or less than average in your sense of fitness to tell the gospel, you are the person God is looking for–a clay pot, who simply shares the treasure of the gospel, not the glitzy intellect, not the glitzy eloquence, not the glitzy beauty or strength or cultural cleverness. God will do his work through the gospel, the surpassing power will belong to him and not to us.
All this is not to say that we should not be trained and equipped in the mission of making disciples. In fact, I think what has been written above argues the opposite. If we understand how powerful and glorious this gospel treasure is, should we not want to become better at making it known to those around us? Should we not desire to learn how to “simply” communicate this treasure as we go about our normal ordinary days?
What I believe Tim Chester has challenged me to think about is how the power of God can be manifested in the gospel as you sit and talk about it with a friend over a cup of coffee. Or how your kindness to a neighbor leads to a conversation about the gospel while pulling weeds in your front yard.
It’s just normal everyday ordinary conversations by normal ordinary folk that God uses to show the greatness of who He is and what He has done. So if you are thinking that you might just be too average to be used by God, think again. You are just the person God is looking for to show the treasure of the gospel.