Burying the lead means that the most important part of a newspaper article is not mentioned first. Newspaper articles are not meant to be read like stories because readers read ruthlessly. Editors expect readers to skip over articles that they don’t appear relevant, and the only way a reader will see if an article is relevant is if the writer doesn’t bury the lead.
In Christianity, we often bury the lead. The public face of the church often focuses on charity, aid, or social programs. In our society, there is a great need for charity. Not all are as fortunate as everyone else and need assistance (be it monetary, food/shelter/clothing, or physical.) Many people are desperately lonely and have a God-sized hole in their hearts. Having people get together for dinner or youth activities or even game nights draws lonely souls. All of these outreaches can bury the lead.
In Acts 4:36-37, we read about Joseph. He was a generous person who sold a property and gave the proceeds to the apostles to distribute as there was need. His actions and attitude were such that he was nicknamed Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement.” He was an example of selflessness that any Christian can follow. We like to tell this story. But how does this bury the lead?
In Acts 4:33, we read how the apostles had kept giving testimony about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This is the lead. What Barnabas did was a natural outgrowth of the lead of the story. The resurrection is the most important part of Christianity. Everything else grows out of that.
Does Christianity today bury the lead? We may do outreach, but if we don’t preface that the reason for outreach is the resurrection of Jesus, then we bury the lead. We get together to sing, worship, study the Bible, and have fellowship, but these all bury the lead if we don’t build them upon the resurrection of Jesus.
Having said that, when my congregation has an outreach, I hope you will consider joining us. Even when we are not specifically having an outreach event, I hope you will consider joining us. The Lord’s people are the best in the world, and it is a delight to be around them, but the joy of fellowship is not the lead of the story. Jesus’ resurrection is the lead. That is what draws souls to their God, not potlucks (although they are yummy!) The lead of Christianity’s story is Jesus and His resurrection, don’t miss this.
The reason we can enjoy fellowship is Jesus. Do you want fellowship in your life? We get there through the resurrection and our obedience to the resurrection. So won’t you sit down with me over an open Bible and study the resurrection? Let’s not bury the lead, but plant the lead in our lives, together.