Summary: The first in a 4-part series of messages on the challenges of the 21st Century Church in America. The Lord needs some gamechangers today.
Meeting The Challenge
Being a ‘Gamechanger’
* At the end of August this year a movie will be premiered which carries the title, “Nick Saban: Gamechanger.” This will be a documentary on the life of the Alabama Football coach. In the trailer for this movie there are several comments made which need to be heard in the family of God today.
* Bill Belichick said, “He’s driven and that’s what you want.”
* Mal Moore said, “This was the most significant hire for Alabama.”
* However, it is Producer Grant Guffin’s written word which brings this movie to the forefront of this message. He writes, “I think what drives him is the understanding that human nature is to be mediocre, not to succeed.”
* Some may ask, “How do these thoughts affect the believers, the church, and the gospel?” Just like Nick Saban came to a University which, although it had a heritage of being successful in football, it was struggling to rediscover those winning ways, so does the local church, while possessing a legacy of changing the culture find itself struggling for identity and success today. If we fail, it’s not simply of matter of losing a ‘football game’ it’s a matter of losing souls for eternity. Some of these may well be our sons, daughters, & grandchildren.
* Every day, we hear the preachers and pundits decrying the melee of a disintegrating and dysfunctional culture. The American society which has enjoyed freedom to a fault is demonstrating that, left to our own devices, we have the natural tendency to take the ‘low road.’ We are losing the game. It is the 4th quarter with under 2 minutes or the 9th inning with 2 outs and the batter has a 3-2 count. If you think I am overstating the issue, check the paper, watch the news, and/or listen to your scanner. In this game of life, we need some ‘Gamechangers.’ That is, one who will step up and step in to meet the challenges we are facing. In fact, God has called us to be this.
* Over the next 4 weeks, we will look into God’s word to gain strength, confidence, and even discover the ‘how to’ become a Gamechanger. We’ll look at 5 or 6 different areas to become Gamechangers in life. These are; finances, facilities, faith, fellowship, followship, & future. Turn to our text.
* King Joash was a ‘Gamechanger.’ He became King as a 7 year old, ruled 40 years, had great a counselor in Jehoiada, and as all young people with great counselors do, he did was what right in the sight of the Lord.
* Verse 4 is a little ambiguous as it simply begins with, “afterwards.” This word could mean many things, certainly it was several years. Obviously, through the mentoring of Jehoiada, Joash grew in his love for the Lord’s house and was dismayed that the finances and the facilities of the Lord were in such disarray so he decided to change the game, and change it - he did.
* Consider the Biblical & Historical examples of Gamechangers in History.
* Jesus came to earth & ‘changed the game.’
* Peter preached at Pentecost to ‘change the game.’
* Paul took at least 3 missionary journeys to ‘change the game.’
* Billy Graham gave his life to ‘changing the game’ in the world.
* Yet, our culture is still in need of Gamechangers, that is, people who will risk and commit.
* For me, I want to be a part of a fellowship who wants to ‘meet the challenge of changing the game in our community.’ Yes, we have ‘church buildings’ on every corner, but we also have people on those same corners who have no faith in Christ, no fellowship with a local church, and honestly, no relationship with God. My understanding of God’s word is that the church should be on the move at all times against the forces of darkness with the focus of retrieving souls from the darkness.
* How do we do it? What would it mean & require?
1. It will require a passion – In verse 4, we read that King Joash ‘took to heart’, he ‘made a decision’, and/or he had a ‘desire’. In the Hebrew we discover a compound word which gives us the idea of “with” and ‘his heart’, his ‘seat of emotions’ and ‘with his entire soul.’ We can get a clear picture of Joash’s passion when we read Deuteronomy 6:5 (quote by Jesus as the Royal Law), “Love the Lord your God WITH ALL your heart, souls mind, and strength.” We understand this means “Love HIM with all that we are.” This is the passion of Joash and it is the passion which is required to be a GAMECHANGER. Joash had a passion for the House of God not because it was a house, but because it was God’s.