One of the greatest tragedies is a church which has forgotten what is most important. A church had outgrown its building, so the pastor wanted to spearhead the construction of a new addition. The church board came to the pastor and told him to concentrate on his preaching; they would handle the building project. The pastor accepted the board’s offer, and the project was soon underway.
The building had finally been completed, and on a Sunday morning the board members gave the pastor a formal tour. The auditorium was expansive and awe-inspiring – but strangely void of pews or benches. One of the board members pushed a button, and a row of seats popped up from the floor in the back row. (They figured no one wanted to sit in the front row.) As soon as this row had been filled with people, the entire row moved forward, making room for another row of seats.
The time came for the pastor to speak. He praised the board for the great work they had done with the building project, especially for giving him a full front row for the first time, and then he began his message. After he went a few minutes over, a whirring sound could be heard. The pulpit was being lowered into the stage for storage. The board members had thought of everything – but they had forgotten the main thing. The preaching of God’s Word should have taken precedence over everything else.
It is very easy to allow ourselves to get caught up in good things at the expense of what is most important. Sometimes we put career success above our family’s well-being. We value the number of people who attend our churches more than the people themselves. We may even allow petty conflicts and disagreements to distract us from proclaiming the gospel. It is vital that we keep the main thing the main thing.
As we stay on Main Street, our pastors will be free to concentrate on their preaching. We will be spiritually nourished, and we will have a healthy church.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.