Little Opportunities – Big Outcomes

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Big doors swing on small hinges. Big crops are produced by small seeds. Little opportunities can turn into big outcomes. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we are planting seeds or participating in an opportunity. This happened to me recently.

I was invited to preach the 5 weekend worship services on September 29-30, 2018 at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. This church is only 28 years old and has 22,000 members, making it the largest United Methodist Church.

The minister, Adam Hamilton, and I met when he was finishing seminary 29 years ago. He came to Frazer for a leadership conference. He shared his vision of planting a new church. The new church first met in a funeral home. When they moved out, they named it Church of the Resurrection.

When Adam introduced me to preach he said that he later attended a conference in Dallas, Texas where I was speaking. His church was five years old at the time and was averaging 1,000 people in worship. He said that he asked if he and I could meet together. We did that night after the last session. He said that he was feeling perplexed, somewhat burned-out, and trying to figure out how to pastor a growing church. We met for an hour and a half. He began to detail some of the conversation that made a difference in his ministry.

I just had a little to offer, but God multiplied it in the ministry of Adam Hamilton. We’ve had many short conversations over the years, but they seem to have had long results in the ministry of both of us.

Between worship services at Church of the Resurrection, I had this experience again. I was approached by Dr. Terry Haines and his wife, Mary Jo and their son, Caleb. They are active members at that church, and Mary Jo is serving on the church staff. Terry is the Provost at Ottawa University. Their son, Caleb, is 18 years old.

In front of several people standing around, Mary Jo began to tell how they moved to Montgomery about 20 years ago. Terry was on the faculty of Huntingdon College. Mary Jo said on their first visit to Frazer they met me in the narthex and introduced themselves. Someone asked about their family and they commented that they could not have children and they were having a very difficult time trying to adopt.

Mary Jo said that I mentioned that I might be of help. They thanked me and sort of passed it off as being the end of the conversation.

Mary Jo said that the next morning I called her and gave her the name of a person at Save-A-Life and Lifeline. They followed-up, and it wasn’t long before they had adopted two boys!! Caleb is pictured here. I had the privilege of baptizing both of their boys.

Meeting the Haines and engaging in a brief conversation at Frazer on a busy Sunday morning are not things that I normally did well. And to follow-up with a phone call on Monday morning was something that I probably failed to do on other occasions. But this time, I did. Just a small thing – but a huge consequence.

Little things can produce big results. It’s happened in my life. I was reminded by Adam Hamilton and the Haines of how God significantly used a few simple things that I said. It makes me more intentional about listening better, engaging in significant conversations, and following-up. (Read Col. 3:23,24; 4:5,6)

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