You’ve all heard the saying, I’m sure: “The Main Thing is to keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.”
Let me paraphrase that – “The most important thing you can do is to make sure that the most important thing in your life remains the most important thing in your life.”
In other words, stay focused on what matters and make sure that your priorities in life remain focused on what matters. Don’t get side tracked by the frivolous things that waste time.
Now let’s paraphrase that one more time – “The most important thing a church and its members can do is to keep the most important thing, salvation and God’s mercy on those who don’t deserve it, the most important thing that drives everything they and their particular church do.
What does that mean?
- It means that what someone wears to church doesn’t really matter.
- It means that whether you worship under a tree in Uganda or in a stuffy room in Haiti or in a multi-million dollar facility in the United States doesn’t matter.
- It means that whether there are drums or not doesn’t matter.
- It means that whether there is an organ or not doesn’t matter.
- It means that what kind of cookies are served after church doesn’t matter.
So what does matter?
- That we, the church, are extending the hand of salvation to those who haven’t heard or who have heard but don’t yet believe.
- That we, the church, are living out what James describes as true religion – “caring for orphans and widows in their distress.”
- That we, the church, are demanding from our leadership (and helping them meet that demand) the type of worship and preaching that feeds and nourishes our souls so we can have the strength to battle the devil for another week.
Too often, we, the church, get caught up in worrying about things that aren’t the main thing. We need to keep Jesus, the main thing, the main thing.
A story that I think illustrates this quite well. A friend of mine who is a missionary told me that they received a call from a church that was looking for a place to do a mission trip. “Could you use a team of 10 to 12 people next spring? “– this was many years ago.
“Sure we could, but I have to tell you, I don’t know much about the Mennonite church. Can you tell me about your denomination?”
“I’d be happy to – the Mennonite church was founded in _______ and we believe that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. (continues to talk).
My friend interrupted him – “Thanks, I’ve heard enough, when do you want to come down?”
The main thing needs to remain the main thing for the church to come close to what God wants it to be.