What Does Pac-Man Have To Do With The Gospel?

"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." (1 Tim. 1:5, NASB)

I was doing laundry in my usual laundromat and as I have sometimes given into temptation, I did so again by plopping in a quarter to play a game of Pac-Man on an old arcade unit in the building. When I was a child I was involved in childish things so much so that I was quite good with video games. That being said, I never really got into Pac-Man which was a bit before my time.

See, I have a problem getting past stage three. In the game, the mission is to win. To do this, one must achieve objectives. The objective that first jumped out at me was to collect all the pellets on the stage in order to complete that level. However, there is another objective which is more subtle: don't get caught by one of the ghosts that are chasing you. It suddenly hit my why I kept losing: I was so focused on achieving the first objective that I did not achieve the second objective.

How does this principle apply to our mission?

1. Christians have a mission to spread the gospel and to live faithfully unto death. (Mat. 28:18-20; Phil. 3:14) We are to make disciples of all nations. That is our mission, to spread the gospel message of belief in Christ which leads to obedience to his Lordship.

2. To carry out that mission, Christians generally set objectives through expediencies. (Of course, where Christ and his apostles were specific in authority, we are to be specific in obedience.) When he was on the earth, Christ himself had a mission of preaching the news of the kingdom and met this by meeting the objectives of visiting the Temple and synagogues, performing confirming miracles, etc . (Luk. 13:32; cf. Mar. 1:38) We use expedient methods in order to carry out the two objectives that Christ set by his own authority, that of baptizing disciples and teaching them. For instance, it is expedient to have a home Bible study as an objective to make disciples and it is expedient to use workbooks while teaching them from the Bible.

3. To reach our objectives, we must not become distracted. Just as in the game, when we are pursuing one objective for our mission for Christ, is it possible to miss another important objective? Absolutely. Let's say that I've baptized a new disciple of Christ. That has met one of Christ's objectives. It is possible that I might not meet the other objective, that of teaching the growing disciple. Since I have influence with that new babe in Christ, I want to make sure that I don't miss out on meeting that new disciple's need for learning the word. Brethren, let us meet our objectives and fulfill the mission of our saving Lord Jesus Christ!

By Sam Stinson

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