My Faith Family at Unity was gracious to allow me to attend a conference in Nashville this past week. The time away was refreshing and information overload would be an understatement. One thing that you can count on when you get a group of pastors together is that we will eat well. LifeWay Christian Resources hosted this conference and the days were filled with incredible instruction and in the evenings they hosted us at some amazing Nashville restaurants. On Tuesday evening we loaded onto the vans and embarked on an adventure which ended in the parking lot that was overwhelmed with the smell of smoky goodness. This was Jim and Nick’s World Class BBQ. All faces were smiling and all stomachs were growling as we were seated and anticipating the meal that was about to take place.
As we took our seats, the waiter delivered the drinks and then it happened…the most amazing cheddar, sweet, buttery, oh my goodness biscuits were placed in front of us as an appetizer. I’m still looking for Scripture backup but I do think these will be on Heaven’s table…just sayin! As we were devouring the blissful biscuits the restaurant manager came out to welcome us and share the story of Jim and Nick. This is where the title of this article originates. He began to share some of the reasons that this restaurant is different than the other BBQ establishments that are on every corner. He took the floor and began his sermon. He stated that they cook the “butts” to order. They do not cook all of them in the morning and let them sit in a pan for the day. Each plate has meat that has just come out of the smoker, pulled off the bone and served juicy and hot. He then told us that the only wood used for the smoking process is hickory. Not just hickory but hickory that is cut off the same piece of land in Alabama, cut, split and shipped to each restaurant so all the meat has the same taste. He gave us a lesson on how wood creates the same taste if it comes from the same growth but from different land it will have a different flavor…I never knew. At this point he had a table full of preachers engaged and hanging on his every word. From the BBQ process he moved to point number two, the side dishes. Each side is made from scratch each day using the same 100+ year old recipe. His words, “Like grandma used to make!” At this point we were getting real hungry and couldn’t wait to experience what he was describing. Then he comes to the final point of this “sermon of food” and tells us about the “secret sauces” that are created for our culinary pleasure. He wouldn’t share the secret recipe of the sauces but stated he would let them speak for themselves. He could have given an invitation and every pastor at the table would have surrendered their stomach to Jim and Nick for all of their BBQ needs.
You may be asking, “Why is this guy telling us about a restaurant experience?” Glad you asked. You see, this manager was convinced that his establishment offered the best BBQ around. He was so convinced that he took time to share with us about every detail of why. He wanted us to know that he believed in what he was telling us. So, my preacher’s mind kicked in as I begin to think of why we, as Christians, keep the best thing in the world a secret? We have been saved by the marvelous grace of JESUS and we do not tell near enough people about HIM. We have the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life and HE is the only answer to all of life’s questions and we treat Him like a secret recipe that we enjoy but we don’t want to give the secret away. We tend to be like the manager when it comes to the secret sauces, we want to let JESUS speak for Himself. With that thought, there is a problem. I’m sure that Jim and Nick told the restaurants that the sauce is a secret…JESUS didn’t give us those instruction! HE said…commanded…that we tell everyone about who HE is, what HE did and how you can know and follow HIM. In Matthew 28:18-20 we see the imperative JESUS gave to His disciples and this is the imperative we have as Disciple of CHRIST. The Scripture tells us, “GO and TELL”. If we were as passionate about and as convinced that people need to hear the Gospel message as this manager at a BBQ joint was about his food…this world would be a different place. GO TELL someone about THE ONE that can change their life!