Most people want to make a difference.
Many people want to serve.
A large portion of people say they want to change lives.
Honest people admit they want to be a world changer or key player.
Most of us think this comes from immense talent. We think that to be the person that makes a difference we need to be the most talented or the most influential. Ordinary people don’t do these things. Regular guys and gals are not making the world a better place. We get stuck thinking that it takes serious skill to be the one that charts the course or has an impact on changing the course.
But the reality of the matter is that it all starts with the simple act of showing up. To change something, to enact a difference, to impact lives, to influence a group or anything of significance starts by us showing up. In fact, it can be one of the most powerful actions we do.
When the friend is hurting, show up. They will remember you showing up more than words spoken, notes sent, or a crying emoji shared on social media. When someone is in need, show up. Unskilled labor or service rendered with a giving heart has a greater and more positive impact than we think. Want to influence and mentor a young person in your life? Show up. You can’t speak into who they are and walk with them without first being with them.
This is at the heart of Paul’s statement in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 when he says, “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” This is a powerful statement of someone saying "we are showing up in your life because we care for you." You are not a “project” where we want to share the truth and then move on. You are part of our lives in a real fashion and we love you and want to be there with you. This is the power of showing up.
When we survey the commands in the New Testament, we notice they so often contain that significant word, “one another.” That we are serve one another, love one another, embrace one another and so on. All these can’t happen unless we show up.
Let’s bring this home in a concrete way. Most Christians will say they want to make a difference in their church or in a ministry in which they are involved. They might wish they had more developed gifts or better skills through which they would be able to do that. But thinking this way misses out of one of the most valuable and influential abilities we all have - the ability to be present and the ability to show up. Just by being there you increase your chances of making an impact and you give yourself the chance to use your gifts. And as a pastor, I can tell you that one of the most valuable actions is for a member to show up.
We have the power to show up and that is the first step to anything else.