Nobody act big, little: Everybody act medium

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Pastors and music leaders have had good-natured arguments for years. Musicians insist pastors will be idle in heaven with nothing to do since preaching isn’t on the agenda, whereas music is. And pastors retort that the music program is the source of much church conflict on earth. As radio preacher J. Vernon McGee used to say, “When Satan fell from heaven, he fell into the choir loft!” 

I remember years ago when the piano music just before the message was simply gorgeous. I said this before I opened the Bible to read my text. Shortly I heard a door slam.

The organist, like Elvis, had left the building. 

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Normally we had a duet before the message. My mistake was complimenting the piano solo, though I certainly didn’t mean to imply our music wasn’t great all the time.

As soon as the service was done, I called the organist and apologized. She insisted we were good and that she was dealing with some other issues at the time. But as we say in the evangelical church, her retreat quenched the spirit.

We must be watchful since there can be too much ego involved in God’s work. 

It’s natural to think we’re the ones who moved the audience or who did the best work. We must realize we’re instruments in the hands of a master who chooses to use us. As Paul wrote, we’re “clay pots” containing God’s power (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Conversely, I’ve often encouraged those outside the pulpit that their work is vitally important, even when they think it’s not, since the spotlight doesn’t validate our service. Those who tend children in the nursery or make electrical repairs or teach a Bible study are doing God’s work as surely as a preacher or musician.

My dad is a case-in-point. He loved good music and good teaching, but wasn’t proficient in either. But he could repair almost anything. He had discretionary time after his shift at the local steel mill and was summoned many afternoons to our church to replace a pane of glass or make a plumbing repair. He did so gladly and served the Lord in this way.

I think we’re wrong when we either magnify our work or undervalue our work.

Some little girls started a neighborhood club with three rules: “Nobody act big. Nobody act little. Everybody act medium.”

Great words!

We’re gifted by the same Holy Spirit to serve the Lord in unique ways.

The Apostle Peter made this clear: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace… in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:10-11). 

“Reflections” is a weekly faith column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster, Alabama. The church’s website is