The longer I have been in ministry the more I’ve come to treasure and be blessed by the small things. Often we get excited at the big stuff. I get jazzed when a lot of students show up at an event or when a number of kids come to Christ. But if I’m honest, the big wins are really more about me and my ego. They point to times when I am looking for big results to make me feel like I’m doing a good job.

Often, the small victories in ministry reveal God’s work just as much as the big ones. Last saturday, we planned a big serve event for our students, which consisted of homeless and refugee ministry. About 10 students showed up (which is small for us). Normally, this would feel defeating for me (read “Small turnout = failure”). Thanks to some growth and maturity, I feel like I am growing past this pressure. God’s grace means that I cannot earn His approval by getting kids to show up at an event. His love for me doesn’t change based on my performance. It is steadfast and unending.

The cool thing is that I got an email from a mom the next day sharing how the event had blessed and encouraged her daughter to stand up for her faith. This small victory is actually a big one. Our “failure” of an event was a big win in the life of this one student and that is something to celebrate.

Our day of serving was also a victory because it marked the growth of one of my interns, Amanda. This was the first time she planned an event on start to finish on her own. She has a big heart for the poor and marginalized, so this day was a perfect expression of her heart and passion. When Amanda started with us she had trouble even showing up on time. So, when she planned and executed an entire 7 hour event without any major problems it was a big win for her. That’s why today I am celebrating the small victories because I see more of God in them than I do of me.

What small victories do you need to be celebrating today?