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Play to Win: Tasks vs the Gospel

It's easy to put the gospel aside whilst trying to complete all the tasks off of your checklist, so how can we make sure we keep the gospel central?

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Play to Win: Tasks vs the Gospel

It's easy to put the gospel aside whilst trying to complete all the tasks off of your checklist, so how can we make sure we keep the gospel central?

Play to Win: Tasks vs the Gospel

It's easy to put the gospel aside whilst trying to complete all the tasks off of your checklist, so how can we make sure we keep the gospel central?

Play to Win: Tasks vs the Gospel

When I played football at Cardiff City, one of the first jobs on a Monday morning was to come together as players and coaching staff and watch video clips from the game (it was usually a long session after a defeat). The coaches would sit with us and analyse the game, reflect on our strengths and weaknesses as a team. These times helped us as players to evaluate where we failed to implement the tactics and identify how we moved away from the goal. Reflection was part of our job every week. I wonder, if we spent 20 minutes reflecting on our performances this week, what conclusion would we make? Here’s what I found about myself, I can often put the gospel aside and focus on the task list that needs completing.

Consider all the practical demands and regulations that must be in place to pull off church. In these changing circumstances it is no wonder that church administrators are finding it hard. I was speaking to one friend this week who shared his concern about how easy it was to inadvertently be distracted from the gospel with all the practicals. John Stott couldn’t have said it any better in his book ‘Guard the Gospel’ when he makes the very sobering point:

“All around us we see Christians and churches relaxing their grasp on the gospel, fumbling it, and in danger of letting it drop from their hands altogether.”

Is it possible to be a church administrator and as John Stott says “relax our grip on the gospel”? What was your initial reaction to John Stott’s statement? If it’s true, does it really matter? You might say to yourself, isn’t that the job of the pastor or minister to be concerned about this kind of thing? Or maybe like me, it raises a red flag that causes you to stop and heed John Stott’s warning.

How can we make sure we keep the gospel central?

In 1 Corinthians 15 vs 3 Paul outlines the first and greatest tactic we can deploy as church administrators: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures”. How do we ensure that we don’t grow cold to the gospel or let the gospel slip through our hands? We take Paul's instruction and make the cross, the finished work of Jesus, our central focus in everything we do. The ministry that we complete behind the scenes enables our members and visitors to come to church to hear the good news of the gospel. In the midst of getting the practical things done we must do the hard work of connecting the practical to the gospel.

Sir Alex Ferguson, ex-manager of Manchester United once said, “I’ve never played for a draw in my life.”

Sir Alex Ferguson, ex-manager of Manchester United once said, “I’ve never played for a draw in my life.” And I would encourage every church administrator to do the same thing. Don’t let your tasks be as important as the gospel. The gospel is what we work for and is our reward – it should be front and centre in all we do.

Gavin Smith
Gavin Smith
Gavin serves as the Church Administrator for Christchurch, Newport, a role he has been in for the last 17 years. He is passionate about the gospel and strengthening the church by supporting the work that happens behind the scenes.

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