I’ve worked with a lot of Christian authors and speakers over the years. Most have been delightful, and have made a positive impact. A few have been, let’s say, embarrassing.

Many of these nationally known figures started out in typical ministry roles in their local churches. Then, at some point, they chose to share their talents with a wider audience. For some, their bigger stage was a fun extracurricular activity. For others, it took over and became their full-time gig, leaving the local ministry behind.

I’m thankful for how God has worked through all of them to enrich the lives of many. But, I gotta say, today I have a special appreciation for the ministry people who have never made the big time–and have never wanted to. These are the shepherds who simply love their flock. It never occurs to them how their methods or insights or talents might play in the national spotlight. They simply want to serve and to love just where God planted them.

However, some say, “I think God wants me to share what he’s given me–to many more people beyond this place.” That may be exactly how God is calling them. We’re beckoned to put our light on a lampstand, after all.

But, as a member of the flock, I love it when my shepherds indicate that we in this little flock are enough. We’re worthy of our fully dedicated shepherds. We’re not simply stepping stones. We’re enough.

I love the humble shepherds who are content with the size of their flock. I love the shepherds who know my name. I love the shepherds who get their fulfillment from seeing the signs of personal spiritual growth in one of their lambs. I love the shepherds who spend as much time listening to their sheep as they do talking. I love the shepherds who generously share their influence with other leaders and volunteers. I love the shepherds who freely credit God for ministry successes. I love the shepherds who genuinely want to build the only brand that truly matters–Jesus.

These humble shepherds will never be nationally known household names. They’ll never make anybody’s biggest, fastest-growing, or best-selling lists. On the big ministry stages, they might be considered the least of these. But they might just be the greatest.