Lessons I’ve Learned from George Bailey – #2
I’ve started to share a few of the lessons I’ve learned from George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. I think a lot of us in ministry are victims of this next one.
Lesson #2: Even if Harry gets to go off, do great things, and get all the recognition, there’s still a “war” going on in Bedford Falls, which is just as important as well.
In the movie George’s younger brother, Harry, goes off to war and wins the Congressional Medal of Honor. While Harry is making headlines as an ace pilot, George is back home in Bedford Falls fighting the same fight against Potter and helping people make something of their lives. To the outside observer it might seem that George is doing virtually nothing nearly as important as what Harry’s doing.
Sometimes in ministry it can be a fight for glory. The sad part is that a lot of times we’re not fighting for God’s glory, just our own. Roommates from college start going overseas, get published, or get plugged into a church plant that really takes off. Are we happy for them? Sure. Are we wishing that were us? Absolutely.
We might be sitting in a smaller, seemingly insignificant church or ministry wondering when we might get that same opportunity. When will we get the chance to make Relevant Magazine or Catalyst Monthly or any other of those headline, attention-grabbing, (jealous-inducing?) ministry magazines?
The part that I struggle with is that I’ve been there before and I will be there again. I’ve watched as classmates and ministry friends of mine have been published, have landed that sweet gig at that one (insert hot-trending local church name) church, and have been interviewed for a variety of things.
The part that I forget though is how important it is for the local churches to do our part in winning the war at home. We can’t all be off on some great ministry endeavor, although those do have their place of importance, and leave the neighborhoods around us unreached and unloved. Some of the greatest ministry to be done is in the places that people will never hear about or read about. But it’s just as important in the end, with or without the glory.