The Train Follows the Engine

As a child I was fascinated by trains. I suppose every young kid is. Maybe it was because of their size or power or noisiness, but I loved to stand and watch them as they would pass by — all the way from the engine to the caboose. At times, we as kids would count the cars, and we would always try to get the engineer’s attention so that they might blow their whistle at us. One thing I learned early on was that regardless of how many cars or what they were carrying, the cars all were going where the engine was going. The individual cars could not decide to take a right turn at the next crossing or head off into the woods or go down some back road. Why? Well, for one thing, the train’s ability to travel and deliver is a system that only works when all the parts work together. Another thing is that they have no power whatsoever on their own.  The power is in the engine.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:1, encouraged people to follow him as he followed Christ. That is a pretty bold statement. The key is not just to follow Paul. The key is for Paul and the entire church to join in following Jesus. To those squabbling saints at Corinth, he sought to help them to understand that their spiritual power and spiritual achievements would only be found as they unite behind a purpose and in the strength of the living Christ Himself. Paul was not front and center; Jesus was. As Paul followed Christ, he called on them to help in order to get the job done. They all were needed.

If Jesus is our leader, it must be understood that He is the engine and, I suppose, the engineer. We should get behind Him. It is to that end that we are in the process of having the “Tell Me, Tell Someone,” rallies all across our state. I am so grateful for the pastors and lay people, and our associational missions directors and their staffs, who have worked so hard and encouraged their people to attend one of these rallies. It is my prayer that as I look forward to meeting with all the people at the rallies, that the meetings will not be between them and me but with Jesus.

Our goal, the goal, is to focus all our attention and all the attention of all our people on the supreme task to which Jesus has called us. He wanted us to understand the simplicity, the sharp focus, of why He came here: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). It is the reason our churches exist. It is the reason our associations and our state convention exist, that we would all join together in lining up behind the Savior, get the word out that He loves us so much that He gave His life for us, that He rose again from the dead, and that He is alive today.

One of the simple yet powerful aspects of the Tell Me, Tell Someone challenge is to commit to invite five unchurched friends to come to your Bible study or church. Easter is only a few short weeks away, and what a great opportunity it presents for us
to invite others to come to worship with us. The crowds will be great.
The music will excite. The message will be powerful, and they and you will be blessed!

Let’s each of us get lined up where God wants us to be following our great Leader, for the train always follows the engine. Be praying for these rallies. Attend if you can, and at every opportunity you have, capture the moment to tell somebody what Jesus has done for you.

The author can be contacted at

Jim Futral

Executive Director-Treasurer