“We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.” – 1 Chronicles 29:15.

Have you ever felt like there’s this deep burning desire in your soul to live bigger? To play a bigger game out in the world? To share your gifts boldly and proudly with the world? Christians, like everyone else, prize significance. We want to make a difference. We seek recognition partly because of the fame it brings but partly because we have a real fear of obscurity. The dread of being insignificant or unaccomplished is frankly, unnerving. But what if I never achieve any significance? But what if I live my life in obscurity?

Will I be okay as a pastor, if my sermons are never put on a podcast? Will I be okay if I never lead a church to double in size? Will I be okay if traffic on my blog is never more than a few people? Will I be okay without thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers? Will I be okay with serving God even if it means no one ever knows my name? Will I be okay with obscurity?

Every Sunday, there are people who answer that question through their service to Northstar Church. They work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the church function. Before the sun begins to rise, volunteers begin to gather to setup to ensure that if this is the one week someone will visit church, that it will be a good experience. They work hard to ensure that visitors feel comfortable, relaxed, and leave with a smile on their faces. 

A majority of those worshipping this Sunday are unaware of the many faithful servants working each week. The men, women, and students who are leading and serving in obscurity. The nursery and children’s ministry workers. Student ministry group leaders. The audio-visual team. Production workers. But don’t let their obscurity obscure their importance. Leading and serving in obscurity is vitally important to ministry.

The question before me is “am I okay with obscurity?”  My answer is yes, because when we are serving God we are never really working in obscurity. 1 Corinthians 15:58 (MSG) reminds us, “With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.”  Even the smallest service is noticed by God and will be rewarded. Remember the words of Jesus: “And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” (Matthew 10:42).

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is obscurity an experience or a frame of mind? Why do you believe one or the other or both?
  2. Are you okay with obscurity? 
  3. What changes would you make as a result of this week’s sermon?