You may not watch college basketball or know the name Austin Hatch, but you will want to follow this freshman basketball player’s career. At the age of 8, he and his family were flying in a plane piloted by his father. The plane crashed killing his mother and his two siblings. He and his father survived the crash.
During those years following the crash, he and his father worked hard on his dream to play basketball at the University of Michigan. They leaned on one another through the tragedy.
At the age of 16, he was flying with his father and stepmother and in an unexpected turn of events, the plane crashed again. This time, it took the life of his father and his stepmother. Austin survived a second plane crash, but it left him with a severe brain injury.
He worked hard to overcome the injury. Mentally he had to learn to function normally – including talking. Physically, he forced himself to work hard against the odds. When asked about his drive to continue pursuing his dream to play for the University of Michigan through adversity, he made a very important statement. Austin said, “My dad and mom raised me to be an uncommon man. The uncommon man gets up at 5:00 in the morning to workout to get stronger when no one else is. It takes an uncommon man to do that when no one is looking.”
Today, Austin Hatch is playing basketball for the University of Michigan. He may not be the best player on the court, but he is perhaps the most driven and focused player on the team. He has been awarded a full scholarship and has proven to be an uncommon man.
What would it take to become an uncommon church? Rather than the average church, the uncommon church would be made up of uncommon families. The uncommon mother and father would not be content to raise their children to be common in our culture. The uncommon father and mother would submit their lives to King Jesus in ways that appear simple on the pages of Scripture, but in the eyes of this world – that type of devotion to Christ appears radical. In the words of Austin Hatch that type of devotion is – uncommon.
The uncommon church is a unified church. The uncommon church is a mission focused church. The uncommon church has a passion for the Scriptures and a love for unbelievers. The uncommon church has a high view of church membership and an unusual drive to grow in maturity, in number, and in diversity. The uncommon church member works and serves diligently rather than sitting on the sidelines of ministry. As we consider the drive of a young basketball player to reach his dreams on the court, I want to challenge us as a church to pray and work diligently to become an uncommon church.
Austin Hatch would have never achieved his goals had he not been willing to do uncommon things such as waking up at 5am to workout when everyone else was in bed. He developed a plan and pushed himself physically. What if we as a church developed a plan and pushed ourselves spiritually? It begins with each individual family. It begins with you.
1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Striving to be an uncommon pastor of an uncommon church for the glory of God,
Pastor Josh Buice