Imagine if you were a coach and
Shaquille O'Neal was one of your players. What would you do with
him? Would you move him out, away from the basket and have him
play beyond the three-point line, or would you put his back to the
basket and post him up down low? Well, if you know anything about
basketball, the answer to that question is obvious. Playing
O'Neal beyond the three-point line wouldn't make a lot of sense
because it would be playing away from his strength. To get the
most out of him, you would need to post him up down low where he
could use his strength, height, and rebounding ability.
What we understand in sports, is
apparently misunderstood in Christianity. Just look around. See
all the things in which the "modern church" is involved. Look at
it's focus on entertainment, amusement, and play. Consider also
the church whose focus is on benevolence, humanitarian needs, and
social issues. The church whose focus revolves around these
matters is playing away from her strength.
Don't misunderstand, I'm not
suggesting that having fun and helping the poor is wrong, I'm
simply saying it's not playing to the strength of the church. As
much as the church tries, it can never "out play" the YMCA or the
local recreation department. As much as the church tries, it can
never "out give" organizations such as the Red Cross who are
designed for such services.
Friends, the strength of the Lord's
church is the saving message of the gospel. Any church work that
doesn't focus upon the gospel of Christ is playing away from the
church's strength. What the church can do that no other
organization can do is proclaim the good news of the gospel.
May we remain focused as the church
of our Lord and maintain our spiritual focus. Any activity that
doesn't involve the church in proclaiming the gospel is playing
away from her strength.
Remember, "good fun," and "good
deeds" are a poor substitute for "good news."
Copyright © 2005, South Green Street Church of Christ,
Permission is granted to copy these articles.