If you follow the Olympics, you know that the winner of the women’s marathon finished in 2:23. My half marathon time was more than that. But John “The Penguin” Bingham, the speaker at our motivational dinner the night before our marathon, gave us some incredible advice that translates well into church communications.
The first question John asked us was, “Who here expects to win tomorrow?”
No one raised their hand. His response was, “Then what’s your hurry? Everyone who comes in between 2nd and last place gets the same prize. Your medal will look the same whether you finish in three hours or six.”
(Contrary to the sage advice of Reese Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last,” you can be second, third, fourth, even fifth. Same medal.)
In church communication, we often compare ourselves to other churches and other pastors. I don’t preach like Kevin Myers, write like Mark Wilson, or rap like Troy Evans’ crew, and you probably don’t, either. But here’s the thing: we are supposed to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” not the race marked out for them. It would be ridiculous for me to try to rap people into the kingdom (although I do provide excellent background vocals for Lecrae on my car stereo) or to attempt to mimic Kevin Myers’ preaching (although he says y’all more than I do these days). God has called you and your church to run the race marked out for you. He has placed you at your post and given you your pace. The finish line is the same for everyone – “fixing our eyes on Jesus, <sup class="crossreference" value="(C)”>the pioneer <sup class="crossreference" value="(D)”>and perfecter of faith” – but not everyone is to run it identically.
How has God designed you to run the race in your context?