For many, many reasons, the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 is one of my favorite passages of scripture. When the little boy in John 6 gave up his small lunch to the frantic disciple running around trying to figure out how to feed the multitude, I don’t think he figured it would be used the way it was. Five loaves and two fish certainly doesn’t seem like much, but when it was placed in the Master’s hands, there was a miracle on the mountainside.
Sometimes in ministry, the mindset seems to be “bigger is better”. We plan big retreats and events, we hire speakers and we practice our songs so that everything sounds polished. Nothing is wrong with any of that but sometimes, the most important way we can minister to the people in our church is through smaller things. Coffee with a hurting woman is so much more important in that moment than planning an elaborate event for the entire ministry.
Rather than looking to give the people a feast (and usually burning ourselves out in the process), maybe we should start looking for the loaves and fishes we can offer to the Lord. The little boy blew the disciples out of the water in the faith department during this particular afternoon. We don’t know the boy’s heart, other than the fact that it was willing. What we do know is that those closest to Jesus didn’t see the value in what was given up. They didn’t see what that small offering could be turned into when put in the powerful hands of Jesus. Maybe you yourself don’t even see the value in what you have to offer but the possibilities are endless when you give them to the Lord with a willing heart.