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May 10, 2024


I recently opened an email from Nathan Hinkle. In this email, Nathan was asking me to write an article for Momentum. I immediately looked to the top of the email and saw that it was in fact sent to me. Then I questioned, “Why would he ask me to write one of these, I am just a Student Pastor?” Then I said, “Oof!”


Let me explain the “Oof!” I try not to hate things, but I have really come to dislike using the word “just” when describing something, but especially when describing someone, myself or serving. It can be a diminishing word when describing ourselves or our service. Moreover, can be a diminishing attitude on the call God has placed on our lives. Think about how many times you have said or have heard the word “just.”

  • I am just a stay-at-home mom

  • I am just a teacher

  • I am just a volunteer

The list goes on and on. 

As a church that is continually Deployed For Mission, I would love to focus on our gifts, and not our diminishment. What helps me is to replace the title with the responsibility.  Allow me to show you what I mean. A phrase I hear far too often is, “I am just a student.” Let’s replace the title of “student” with the responsibility.  “I am just a child of the King, that attends a school, where some of my classmates do not have a relationship with Jesus. I am just deployed on mission to show the joy of Full Life. I am also just gaining my education and life skills to help prepare myself to go forward in life, to just use that education and my gifts to minister in the name of Jesus.” Do you see how we diminish the call our Heavenly Father has placed on our lives.  

Author Os Guinness wrote in his book, The Call (Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life), that we all have the same primary call in our lives. To be followers of Jesus. Guinness goes on to state our secondary calling is that of serving God how He would call us. To use our gifts and talents given by God to help extend that primary calling to everyone else. Later in the book, Guinness states, “For those who answer the call, everything under God has its own importance, though the final respect is not ours to bestow.” These words really help me to remove myself and place God firmly in the spot of approval.

In Ephesians 2:10, Paul wrote, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” When I hear this, I’m reminded that everything we do was prepared for us by God well before we knew.  Here at White Oak, I see amazing people serving weekly. I hope we all see each and every person as someone who is deployed on mission, as prepared by God Himself.  When I see a greeter, I don’t see them as “just” a greeter, but as the person God has specifically placed at that spot to provide a warm welcome to those who are moving along mightily in Full Life, but also to someone who might be struggling to make it through life let alone get to church!

In searching through the bible, we see a bunch of “Just” people serving God. People that don’t fit the mold or wouldn’t be our obvious choice to be deployed on mission for God.

Rahab was “just” at best an inn keeper, but at worst a prostitute.

David was “just” a shepherd boy.

Josiah was “just” an eight-year-old boy, serving as king.

Mary was “just” a young girl.

Several of the apostles were “just” fisherman.

Paul was “just” someone who persecuted followers of Jesus.

I hope you can smell what I am stepping in here.  God is very well known for using “just” people!  I encourage you, as White Oak Christian Church continues Connecting People to Full Life in Jesus, understand your service is not “just” service, but it is essential!

We may look at acts of service and think they are small or insignificant, and I wish I was talented enough to have my own amazing quote here, but alas I will borrow a few.  Hudson Taylor, a great nineteenth century pioneer missionary to China used to teach: “A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in a little thing is a big thing.” When we put faithfulness in our actions, we are not “just” serving, we are serving mightily.  Mother Teresa said so lovingly, “I don’t do big things. I do small things with big love.”

I encourage you, when you hear that word, look past it.  When you feel like you are going to say that word, skip it.  In God’s eyes, we are not “just” someone, but we are precious and honored. We are many things friends, but we are not “just” in any of them.


Not “Just” one of your Student Pastors,



Bryan Savage

Student Pastor - Colerain

White Oak Christian Church


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