Perhaps every church should make a contract with its laity. The crown jewel of the contract would be the ministry calling of every person in the church. The ability of a church to impact its culture is not limited to its pastor, its facilities or location. In fact, if a church has too many assets other than the ministry calling of the rank-and-file, those assets can actually hinder the church’s ability to make an impact. The more the congregation is “wowed” by superstars the less the average person feels they have to offer. The church may grow large; it may be a neat place to be; it may offer its members a wide array of services, but all of that does not guarantee “culture impact.” This should be a great encouragement to over 90% of churches in America, the vast majority of which will never have pastors with superstar abilities or multi-million dollar budgets. But they do have one thing: people! And even if they don’t have a lot of people, maybe God will use one or more of their people in a way that makes a great “kingdom impact.” That impact may not be obvious for years, but as long as everyone is faithful to the calling God gives them, the rest is up to God. For example, any church might have a person who would befriend and influence an international student. And perhaps that student will someday have great influence in his or her own country. Suppose the student, because of a Christian’s influence, acts in such a way that brings God’s will into play in their country. The ministry of befriending a student might not look very important to most observers. But from God’s perspective, it could be more significant than something else, which at the moment, appears to be far more impressive. This is why we treat every ministry calling as something precious Several years ago I was introduced to the idea that there can be an inverse ratio between visibility and impact! Most of what really matters has little to do with things that are big, splashy and very visible. As visibility increases, at some point, impact begins to decrease, which helps explain the success of the early church. And it also helps explain the church’s demise after the Roman emperor embraced Christianity and began to build cathedrals with state money. The genius of the early church was the local, small, but worthy projects they initiated. They did so by thousands because every member really was a minister. They hadn’t yet become enamored with “big,” nor had they invented a rigid class of people who belonged to a priesthood. They had the small picture and they practiced a priesthood of believers. They must have understood the concept of God’s calling better than we do. Perhaps they saw something both simple and profound: God has taken special care in shaping each person. God has given each one the desire and ability to carry out some particular good work, which He ordained they should do. And while that is really pretty simple, the end result is profound. It means that everyone has a calling, and only God knows how significant the calling is—but if God designed the person and the calling, it must be pretty important! Perhaps that is why Philippians 2:12 says to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. The calling that God designed us for is not something to be ignored or taken lightly.