And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
This passage makes me smile when I think about it in the context of children’s ministry. Have you ever been the only volunteer in the room for just a moment? It’s pretty easy to get attacked and defeated by a few rambunctious preschoolers, or a set of sly fourth grade boys! Of course, for safety purposes, we know that it is never okay to be alone with a group of children – for their safety and for your own. But back to the passage…
Two volunteers could stand back-to-back and conquer…
But THREE volunteers – well, you won’t be easily broken!
Yes, I know that may stretch things a bit from the original meaning of the passage, but think about it:
- When you try to do ministry alone, you will end up feeling attacked and defeated. God did not create us to be alone – in any context. He created us to be in relationship with others, and more importantly in relationship with Him. That means that doing everything yourself and in your own strength doesn’t make you a hero – it makes you ineffective.
- When you know someone is with you, you’re confident they have your back. There’s a difference between someone being for you and someone being with you. When someone is for you, they may agree with your vision and efforts and generally accept what you are doing. But when someone is with you, they put skin in the game. They come alongside and help carry the burdens you are carrying, and push toward the goal right next to you.
When someone is with you in ministry, they are not simply standing on the sidelines agreeing that your ministry is worthwhile. They are leveraging their knowledge, skills and effort to making sure the ministry thrives. You have someone to celebrate the wins with and grieve the losses with.
- None of this would be possible without God at the center of our ministries. None of it. He is the center of our three-strand cord. He is the reason that we are not broken. He gives us the strength and passion to minister, and to thrive.
Look around you.
Are you alone?
If volunteers and supporters surround you, then take a moment to thank God for them.
If you are alone, choose to make today the last day that you are. Ask for help. Look for a mentor. And spend time with our marvelous Creator who never intended for you to stand alone.