The One Thing…

He set me up…

I felt it coming, playing the part of the victim before, I knew how to recognize the set-up from the sentence structure, posed in the form of a question:

“What’s the one thing…?”

Living in the same town for almost 30 years has it’s advantages.  Jose Barreda was a youth pastor here in Tampa back in the 80’s when I was still cutting my Jesus teeth as a soon-to-be senior at Chamberlain High School.  Today Jose trains pastors how to share the love of our Creator with a still hurting city.

But yesterday morning he would train me.

My typical setting: Panera Bakery – booth #7 – newspaper opened to the Sports section, still trying to under how the Rays got swept by Cleeeeeeeeeveland??? – a piping hot mug of Hazelnut coffee, caramel in color and sweetened artificially with one yellow pack.

Before I could stand up to hug an old friend, Jose slid into the booth and said “Got a minute? I have a question for you”.  He had heard that I’ve been doing some “church work”, and appeared to pre-meditate his approach.

“Your doing the Assimilation thing at Grace right?” Curiously I shook my head yes.

“So tell me, what is the one thing that you want every new believer at Grace to know once they are assimilated?  In fact, what is the one thing you would want every believing member of Grace Family Church  to know?”

…uhhhh….Deep breath…I know this…think…don’t sound like an idiot…ummm….

“Would you repeat the question?” (stall tactic)

“The one thing.  The most important thing?”

I rattled off 4 or 5 solid church answers, hoping one would hit the target…all missed.

School was now in session.

I’ll share his answer tomorrow. After a night of thought, I believe he is right.

Care to take a swing at what his answer may have been?

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Thaddeus on July 15, 2008 at 5:53 PM

    The one thing- the most important thing is that we are living IN Christ and we have a new purpose in life because of Him- to faithfully and obediently serve God and His Kingdom in love, starting right here in Tampa in whatever manner He calls us.

  2. Posted by Derek on July 15, 2008 at 7:09 PM

    I would say you would want them all to know we are part of the body of Christ.

  3. Posted by Jeff S. on July 15, 2008 at 8:18 PM

    Here’s my stab at it…. Christ is suffecient! I couldn’t help but notice that there aren’t any other responses here yet. Am I the only one brave enough or crazy enough? I’m going with crazy.

  4. Posted by Trace K. on July 18, 2008 at 2:08 PM

    I’ve already seen the answer hook, so I guess my answer is wrong. But I would have said that people need to know they have not reached a finish line by joining the church. It is not the time to sit back, relax and wait to be fed. They need to press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

  5. hey trace, jeff, derek, and thad,

    not sure there is a right or wrong answer here – but something in my spirit identifies with hearing His voice.

    seems to me all other challenges in our faith journey would be clearer if we could just get better at that one thing.

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