There’s a pastor I listen to on occasion – Matt Chandler from the The Village Church in Dallas, TX – who essentially has only one message. That message is the Gospel. One single thing.
I’ve listened to him for several months now, and no matter the subject – a series in Galatians, sermons through Advent, one-offs on discipleship, and various other Biblical subjects – each sermon has one goal, one theme, one purpose. At it’s core, each message is about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It’s like the basketball playoffs going on right now – no matter who you watch, Lebron and the Heat, K.G. and the Celtics, Duncan and the Spurs, or Durrant and the Thunder – you’re watching the same thing. Different players, different styles, different offensive schemes. But at the end of the game – no matter how dramatic those differences were – you’ve only seen one thing. Basketball. Every player and coach’s goal, theme, and purpose is one single thing. Basketball.
That’s what I love about Chandler and many other good preachers I’ve heard. Every sermon, no matter how different, can be boiled down to the single most important thing. Because at the end of this game, it’s the Gospel that people most need.
One of my heroes understands this well. This week he began a new job after an almost 2 year lay-off. We have been praying for work, and now it has come. He sent me an email letting me know he would start on Monday, and in a celebratory reply I wrote “Yay!” and “Have a great time!”. I know this new job is something he will love. It’s the kind of job you hope someone gets because it’s right up their alley. So, needless to say, I couldn’t wait to hear about his first couple of days of work.
He emailed me back after day two. Part of the email was about how “cool” the first two days were and some details about the project they had him working on. It was obvious he was excited about it. But, it was the last sentence of the email that moved me. He wrote:
“One of the men I work with is an agnostic. Pray that God can use me to bring him to Christ.”
And this – this one single thing – is why he’s one of my heroes. He’s gone 2 years without work and finally has an opportunity to do something he’ll love, make an income again, and enjoy the satisfaction of starting a brand new work life. Yet with all that, his mind is on one thing. The Gospel.
You see, friends, no matter which team we play on, how we play the game, and who we play the game with, ultimately, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all that matters.
I’m thankful for the humble reminder, from a man I love and admire, that all of life is about this one single thing.