January 17

Written by Bill Grandi on January 17th, 2024

I used to have a haunting dream/thought. I felt like a failure. Not that I expressed it to anyone; it was something I kept to myself and, at times, brooded over. Since it was an internal musing and not expressed out loud, I’m not even sure Jo knew. In fact, I’m almost positive she did not.

Like many young men coming out of Bible college/seminary, I thought I had the world by the proverbial tail. I was going to accomplish great things. I would attend a conference and see and hear speakers/pastor/youth pastors of influence and dream that would be me someday. I would be the pastor of a big church, although I never saw myself as the pastor of a megachurch. I’m more designed by God to be a shepherd than a CEO. (I lost a job largely because of that mentality). But even though I knew certain characteristics of my personality probably held me back, I still had ambivalent emotions as I watched guys my age or younger “move up the ranks.” I know part of it was because I wouldn’t schmooze and play politics in the church world. Meanwhile, all my efforts to be a biblical, expositor preacher seemed to go unseen and unrewarded (in my mind at least). “Why not me?” reared its ugly head more than I care to admit. The twins, envy and jealousy, made their appearance, but fortunately didn’t stay very long because they were unwanted. While my friends we advancing, I was pastoring churches of 100-200, sometimes less. One was 35 which grew to 50 in 16 months but it about killed me spiritually.

Then one day, God got through to me. He didn’t make me nor want me in a big church. He didn’t care whether I broke the 200 or 300 barrier and did all that I was supposed to do to make that happen. Small churches need pastors too. Small churches need men who will love and lead them.  I broke. I realized God (almost) always does His work through ordinary people. I’ve stated it before: in God’s economy there are no little people (as the late Francis Schaeffer called them); there are just ordinary people God uses in extraordinary ways.

When I realized that, I found contentment in my work. I currently pastor a church that is less than 200. I have never been happier and more content that I have been for the past 18 years. No matter what you do-no matter how big or how small-be content and just be His. As martyred missionary Jim Elliott once said, “Wherever you are, be all there.” That includes that seemingly insignificant thing or job you do.

God is not interested in you being extraordinary. He simply wants to use the ordinary you in extraordinary ways.


4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Such an honest revelation, Bill. We always think we know where we should or should not be when it’s God who has the real plans for our lives. May we allow Him to do His job!
    (Being in a small church, I’m so thankful for our pastor’s dedication to his flock.)

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are correct Martha. “We always think…” I can look back and see God knew best. I hate to even think of the disaster I would have brought if I had had my way. I’m glad you are happy with your pastor. Please make sure he knows.

  2. gail says:

    For me Bill , I am happy you and Ryan are the pastors of OVCF. I feel like both of you are approachable, and easy to talk to too. I feel like besides being my pastors, I feel like you are friends. I am comfortable reaching out to you, I have not felt that level of comfort before in the past. Attending a church that preaches and teaches God’s word without compromising His word, and hold up the values of living a life for Jesus is a place I want to be in.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Gail. I’m humbled and grateful you feel that way. I appreciate not only being seen as a pastor but also a friend.