That’s Useless

Here is the scene. You have spent hours preparing the lesson for Sunday. The music, the object lesson, the game and the lesson all flow together with unparalleled harmony. If ever a children’s service would change the lives of the kids in your church, this is it. Even the hyper kid in the back row (the Pastor’s son) would recognize and appreciate the masterful planning and execution of this service. And then it happens, your Sr. Pastor for the first time in five years preaches a short message and service is over much sooner than you anticipated. You can’t finish the game which was supposed to lead into the elaborate object lesson, which leads to the big video clip just before a powerful time of prayer, but it never happens. The adult service ends early and all your work is down the drain…useless.

This happens with other things as well.

  • Investing a ton of time in a volunteer only to have the volunteer move to another state.
  • Planning and preparing a big event only to have it canceled due to weather.
  • Putting a ton of time into a volunteer training and three people show up.
  • And the list goes on.

The point is this…many times we feel like the time, effort and energy we spend on certain aspects of our ministry is useless.

Take a look at this verse.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.1 Corinthians 15:58

This verse is incredibly encouraging. “…nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” We have all felt this at some time or another. “I just wasted my time, that was useless.” All of us want our time and effort to matter. Time is the one thing you can’t get back and we want our investment of time to make a difference. I can’t tell you how many times I stood silently after a service, event or training and thought, “wow, that was useless.”

It is encouraging to know that the things we do for the Lord are never useless. It matters, it counts, it makes a difference even when it is difficult to see or feel the results.

I have finished services or events very discouraged because I thought the day was useless only to receive an email from a parent explaining how the service impacted their child. This is a reminder that while you may not understand how God will use you to make a difference, the one thing we can be sure of is this…


The phone calls, the paperwork, the service planning, the errands and the one-on-one conversations, it is all worth it because “NOTHING YOU DO FOR THE LORD IS USELESS.”

Embrace it!


  1. Hey Steve,
    Your post is very welcome and so true! Thank you for this timely reminder.

  2. Great thought Steve. Thanks for the reminder

  3. I find it hard to believe that your pastor ever speaks a short message Steve 🙂

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