By Corey Bullock, Ahwatukee Campus Pastor
As most of you guys know, I am a huge Kentucky Wildcat’s fan. I’m still getting over that Final Four loss to Wisconsin and the title going to Duke this year. It was so our year to win the NCAA tournament. My counselor tells me that it is therapeutic to put my thoughts in writing.
Just a couple days ago, we were informed that 7 guys from our team have declared for the NBA draft. It is an incredible thing to have that many quality players on one team. Many of those players only played one year for UK and now they are off to a professional career. They are what people like to call One & Done players – outstanding young kids that are so good that they only contribute 1 year at a college and then leave to get paid.
I am happy for these exceptional players, but I have to tell you that I don’t like what this kind of mentality does for the sport of college basketball. Unfortunately, UK is currently the leading proponent for this trend. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kentucky basketball and I think our coach is brilliant to be able to capitalize off of the current culture, but I don’t like the One & Done concept. It may be good for the individual, but in my opinion it is bad for the game.
As I was pondering how I’m going to have to relearn an entire new team to root for next year, the thought crossed my mind that many people have the same mentality when it comes to their faith. People often mimic the same kind of One & Done approach in the spiritual realm as we see in college basketball. It is just as damaging to the mission of a church as it is to the mission of a basketball team.
Our church has recently experienced some incredible wins, but I wonder how many of those successes will surpass this cultural phenomenon. Last week, almost 20,000 people attended one of our 20 Easter services at Central. Many of these people were first time guests and we are so glad that they came, but will those guests come back again or are they One & Done.
A few weeks ago, we offered and open invitation to receive Jesus and be baptized right there on the spot. We had 303 people take the plunge. Will they see their baptism as the beginning of their journey and continue to take steps in their faith or were they simply One & Done in their obedience to Christ?
Our Easter offering this year was over $1 million. Our people gave generously and sacrificially to see the Queen Creek campus move a step closer to getting their own 24/7 space. This was an incredible collective effort. Many people stepped out of their comfort zone to invest in this one time offering. Will they continue to look for opportunities to be faithful and generous or are they One & Done.
The average church goer these days is attending once a month. It’s almost like our culture wants to stay loosely tied to the spiritual, but not overly committed to the cause. Many people call a church home, but merely check in once a month like a college student away for school. Have you checked off your church attendance for this month? Are you One & Done?
Even those who gather at a church service every week are guilty of the same attitude that is detrimental to the cause of the church. We think that we can dedicate one day a week to Jesus but live the rest of the week for ourselves. We give a day a week, and then we are One & Done?
We cannot hold onto the One & Done outlook if we are to be followers of Jesus. He has not called us to a one-time obedience but an ongoing faithfulness. Our church holds on to the words of Jesus captured by Luke in this regard “If you want to be my disciple, you must deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” It is imperative to the mission of the church that we embrace and All-in posture instead of the One & Done mindset
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.” I Peter 3:18
“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:28
Jesus laid down his life on the cross once for all mankind to be done with sin forever. As he breathed his last breath on the cross he cried out, it is finished – it is done. Jesus was One & Done in order that we might be All-in.