Let’s Keep it Simple

Chris Knight - Senior Pastor | Wakarusa Missionary Church, Wakarusa, IN

I was tired of hauling my Chevy Blazer into the shop for repairs! When I tried unsuccessfully to start my SUV, I chose to take matters into my own hands. It was time to buckle up my man pants and repair this vehicle on my own! Having no clue where to start, I made my way to our local AutoZone to explain what was happening with my vehicle. The gentleman behind the counter, who by appearance alone confirmed he knew much more about vehicles than I did, suggested my problem was a bad starter. Commonsense could have arrived at that conclusion. After all, my vehicle would not start, so I clearly had a starter problem, right? I nodded my head as if to suggest I was in agreement with his diagnosis, while genuinely having no clue where a starter was located, nor how to fix it.

The gentleman said,

“If you want to pull the starter and bring it in, I’ll test to confirm it is your problem.”

I thought that sounded like a great idea, but I had no clue how to “pull a starter” and no clear strategy to accomplish this task! As I stood dazed, briefly plotting my next steps in this saga, the gentleman from behind the counter saved my day with one simple sentence.

He said, “You want me to print directions on how to pull a starter?”

Wanting to hide my excitement that such directions existed, I played it cool while trying to keep my man card planted firmly in my back pocket and responded saying,

“Yeah, I guess it wouldn’t hurt in case I get in a bind.”

Relieved, I made my way back to our garage and read the following instructions…

Step 1: Disconnect the Battery. That should be easy I thought to myself. I have had to jump start this vehicle enough, I surely should be able to disconnect this thing!

Step 2: Disconnect the Serpentine Belt. What in the world is a serpentine belt? I quickly came to the conclusion that based on the fact this belt has the word serpent in its name, it had to be from the devil. I googled how to disconnect this belt and after much effort was prepared to move on to step three.

Step 3: Remove the Starter. As the proud owner of a brand new socket set, I excitedly dove elbow deep into the bowels of my Chevy Blazer to remove this part they call a starter. My new socket kept slipping off of the bolts and my frustration level was on the rise. With grease to my elbows and knuckles bloodied from my continued attempts to free the starter, my sweet little wife walks by asking how it’s going. My grunting and straining told her of my struggle for success. As she was walking back into our home, she gently weighed in on my dilemma. “If I’m not mistaken vehicles use metric sockets”, she said closing the door behind her. Stunned by her comments, wondering how in the world she would have any knowledge of this, I grabbed the metric sockets and sure enough within minutes the starter was free from my vehicle.

What does this have to do with discipleship? Perhaps you are overwhelmed by the disciple making process like I was with auto repair. Maybe you have more questions than you have answers. Allow me to play the role of the gentleman behind the counter and point you to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Our motivation for discipleship is anchored in this good news. First Corinthians 15:3-6 clearly states the simplicity of this message and what we are to do with it.

The Apostle Paul writes, “I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.

This good news of Jesus’ death for our sins, burial and resurrection is the foundation of our salvation and our disciple-making process. Let’s clear the fog of man-made complexity surrounding what we are to be doing as followers of Jesus. Let’s grab hold of the simplicity of the Gospel message, daily live in the footsteps of Jesus and pass on this good news! 

In case you were wondering, I took my starter back to AutoZone to confirm it was bad. It turns out the starter was just fine. My problem was simply a loose battery cable that could have been fixed in a matter of seconds had I only known! The lessons learned that day remain with me. If you are struggling to navigate discipleship or replace a starter, I am here to help!

by Chris Knight- Senior Pastor
Wakarusa Missionary Church
Wakarusa, IN