I love that song that we teach children in church, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine . . .” It affirms that God has given each of us gifts, a purpose—a light to shine. One thing that the song doesn’t address is that sometimes we prevent others from shining their light. Perhaps we think they are too young, too old, or we may perceive that their gender prevents them from participating in a particular ministry. In addition to preaching, God has equipped and given me a passion to mentor others in ministry. I believe there is no better use of my energies than to pour my life into the lives of others. In essence, I want to fuel the flame of passion, giftedness and calling of those around me. I want to see their lights shine! This is one of the reasons that I speak so frequently to friends and colleagues about the importance of providing opportunities for women to preach. We must quit trying to dim or extinguish the passion for ministry that God has given them.
Each of us needs help in letting our lights shine. It is not enough to acknowledge the light in others; we must be proactive in encouraging, loving, and building up that light. Our worship communities should reflect a candlelight service where each person is holding up there light and praising God. Some will be able to hold their lights on their own, but as you glance around the sanctuary, you will see parents and grandparents helping little ones to hold up their candle. The body of Christ needs to work together to help each person find a way to use their God-given passion in ministry to others. May we be a people who help others to let their light shine.