Faithful in Little, Faithful in Much

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

The Tates have served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

Not long ago I was challenged by one of the people at the Chapel. If you are reading this and you are a pastor or a church leader you have probably been challenged to think through this too. And even if you are not a pastor or a church leader you have probably thought through this challenge before also. So, the challenge this Chapel lady gave me went something like this: “This Chapel is all about you. You do everything in the service. Nobody else gets a chance to get involved or to participate in the service. This Chapel is all about you”. 

First of all, I was forced to think through her challenge about the Chapel being all about me. Was I hoarding the service and ministry duties because of pride, or because I was the important one, or because nobody could do it better than me? I have had to think about this, not only when she spoke to me but also subsequently to that. And, no, I don’t think that is an issue. One, I am trying to give them an alternative, something different than they would typically receive in a typical Kitale church (that being: 1. Simple, Biblical teaching  2. Reasonable, heart-felt worship  3. A focus on knowing God and following Jesus  4. No health and wealth gospel  5. No “God is my genie” mentality  6. No emotional craziness  7. No…well, you get the point). I am the only one I trust right now to incorporate these elements. Two, there is no one who comes on a regular enough basis to entrust with ministry responsibilities.

I have always had the opinion that ministry responsibilities should be given to those who show faithfulness to a church, its services and its ministries. In other words, if you want to teach Sunday School then you should show yourself faithful to the church services and ministries. If you want to lead the worship and singing, then you should show that you are committed and dedicated to the services and ministries of the church. That is my opinion. The Chapel lady had another opinion. She told me that people were not being faithful because I hadn’t given them responsibilities and opportunities. If effect, her opinion was opposite of mine.

My view – Give ministry opportunities to those who show themselves to be faithful, committed and dedicated

Her view – Give ministry opportunities to the unfaithful, the non-committed and the un-dedicated in order to make them faithful, committed and dedicated

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much…” –Luke 16:10

I discussed this with her and gave her my position on the matter, explaining why I approached the matter in the way that I did. She obviously disagreed and told me that I should take a risk. After giving the matter some thought I decided to give the experiment a try after all. 

So, here is what I did. I asked one man if he would be the one to open up our services. I asked him to read a Bible passage, say a few words and pray in order to open up our weekly Sunday services. I asked another young man who knows how to play the guitar if he would learn a couple of songs and lead the Chapel in singing them. I let him choose some songs and I gave him song sheets with chords so that he could practice them and lead the Chapel to sing those songs on the next Sunday.

The results of my experiment? I am hesitant to share them, but, here they are. The man I asked to open our services came the next Sunday and did exactly what I had asked him to do. After that, he didn’t even show up for our services for three out of the next four Sundays, leaving me wondering if I should wait for him or start things myself. The other young man that I asked to lead some songs came the next Sunday but he hadn’t learned the songs. Then he missed two Sundays and when he returned on the third Sunday still hadn’t learned the songs, meaning I had to have songs ready each week to play, not knowing whether he would be ready or not. He still hasn’t learned the songs.

I don’t know if the results of my experiment are typical. I don’t know if I haven’t let it run long enough. I don’t know if it verifies my original opinion. Should I keep trying it? God knows.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie & Chloe


Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.

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