Loaves and Fishes – And Planting Churches

Maybe we never graduate beyond having little to offer the God of the universe; the longer I do ministry, the more I suspect that it’s all just loaves and fishes. 

loaves and fishes

We like to think we have more than a few loaves. And definitely something more substantial than two fish. We’ve got serious gifts and passions and talents to bring to the table. Years of experience under our belts. Degrees on our walls and download stats on our social accounts. Impressive résumés and recommendations from people in high places. But the longer I do ministry, the more I suspect that it’s all just loaves and fishes. 

Maybe we never graduate beyond having little to offer the God of the universe. Maybe we never build up a significant amount of anything to heal the woes of the world. And maybe Jesus never really expects us to have much of an impressive answer when he asks, “So how much do you have? Take an inventory and get back to me.” He already knows the humiliatingly small response. And he’s more than OK with it. There’s something in Jesus that seems to delight in using our little as the raw material for miracles.

Of course, I’d prefer Jesus to preach a Gospel to my ego and to make me feel adequately supplied at all times. But he doesn’t—his Gospel goes deeper and wider. There’s something terribly insecure in me about all that. But perhaps that’s a clue that I have not yet understood about the loaves.

They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

(Mark 6:50-52)

It’s all just loaves and fishes.

 

This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

Rodger Otero
Along with his his, Angela, Rodger is the co-pastor of the Greenleaf Vineyard Church in Chapel Hill, NC. He is a husband-father-musician-pastor just trying to figure this out as he goes. San Diego is the Motherland, but Chapel Hill is Home. He riffs on formation, leadership, and being fully human.