Unreached Network

An Ordinary Multitude – Reflections on Unreached21

“We are never going to see a world saved with an extraordinary few, we are going to see a world saved with an ordinary multitude.”

This is a quote from Andy McCullough at the recent Unreached conference.  If you were unable to make the conference and have not had a chance to listen yet, I would recommend trying to listen to some of the talks and seminars.  There were so many riches, challenges, and truths to take away and be inspired to change and grow.  But the quote I shared above from the conference, really stuck with me, and made me want to share some of our journey.

We have lived in the Middle East as a family now for 5 years.  When we came, we knew what God was calling us to, to love the poor, to care for the vulnerable and more specifically for orphans.  We had a vision, we had dreams, but we didn’t have plans and strategies laid out on how this might all look.  Some people when they are planning to go, stand up and share, and lay out their 5 year plan/strategy of what exactly they will be doing after they land.  We could not do this because in honesty we didn’t know. Sometimes when we were asked to share, it was even tempting to try and make some things up, to reassure people that we weren’t entirely clueless, but the reality was that God had called us as a family to go, and so we were going.

I actually think I could sense people’s concern sometimes when we shared.  It probably seemed reckless to move without clear plans and strategies to a country, that in their minds was a war zone (we would argue, it’s actually one of the most beautiful places in the world).  We were taking two cute little children, and leaving everything behind and so understandably I think some people would have felt safer if we had more plans and strategies to share.  Without the plans and strategies it also was more of a struggle at times to find people to support us, but we are thankful to our faithful friends and family who trusted God and his calling on our family.

One ‘encouragement’ that we used to often hear after we shared and actually still do, is people found the fact that we were so ‘ordinary’ encouraging.  It is quite humbling to hear people say “don’t take this the wrong way guys, but you’re not these fancy, big talkers, not that special, you’re just ordinary people”.  People were encouraged by the fact that we were “ordinary.” They would listen to us and think if they have managed to obey the call and go, maybe we can too!!!  So although it was humbling to hear we weren’t that special, it was great that it encouraged people.

I think that’s why what Andy shared resonated so much with me.  Sometimes you hear people sharing, and before they go they have these big plans, or after they have gone, they have great stories.  It can actually be a bit off-putting as you could listen and think that you could never be where they are.  Maybe you’ll never be someone who likes to chat to people about Jesus while you’re in a shop buying milk.  Maybe you won’t have endless stories of all the people you meet and the amazing things you have seen.  Maybe like us, you won’t be seen as being that special, but you’ll just have a calling or a vision that you need to obey.  And that’s ok, because as we learnt at the Unreached conference God isn’t saving the word with the extraordinary few, he is saving it with an ordinary multitude.  So my advice would be, don’t ever feel too ordinary to obey Gods calling on your life, you may just be part of the ordinary multitude he will use to save the world. 

From an Anonymous Friend