Making an Impact

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”       

-  Mark 16:15-16, RSV

A reporter was interviewing Sam Rutigliano.  Rutigliano had resigned his very lucrative job as a successful head coach in the NFL (the old Cleveland Browns).  He did so to take the coaching position at a small Division II college.  The reporter pressed him with questions like, Why would you take such a cut in pay and notoriety to come to a small, obscure school?

Rutigliano responded:  It’s like the guy who picks up starfish that wash ashore.  Someone says to him, ‘Do you realize there are millions of starfish and miles of oceanfront?  How can you expect to make an impact?’  The guy picks up one more, throws it back and says, ‘I can impact that one.’

In this day and time of mega-churches to general disillusionment, it is important for us to remember that the greatest teaching and most lasting impact is still made one on one.  We may not be able to reach the countless millions on all the shores of the world, but we can impact someone who has come into our path.

Someone has paraphrased the simplicity of the “Great Commission” by saying, “Each one teach one.”  Using this simple person to person approach, Jesus instituted a plan in which He was able to get the message of the Gospel to “every creature under heaven” in the first century (Colossians 1:23)!

As we meet the various people who will be in our paths, let us keep in mind what Coach Rutigliano said, I can impact that one.

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