The date is the early nineties. It was the first game to be played in the new Chicago Stadium. The superstructure built for the 21st century cost $175 million. The first game ever played in the building was a basketball game between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz.
As you might imagine, opening night was special. There were dignitaries and special guests. There were fireworks.
Finally, the moment arrived for the opening tip-off. The players took their positions on the floor, likewise, the referees. The crowd yelled with anticipation. Everyone was set. There was one minor problem. Someone forgot the basketball.
The game was delayed for several minutes, while someone left to look for a basketball.
Now think about it: a $175 million arena, athletes making millions, 1000s of dollars spent on tickets, 1000s of dollars spent for uniforms…. Everyone-players, refs, coaches, fans, management-was in proper place. And, the game had to be suspended—for a ball.
Sometimes, it's the little things that count. You can have a basketball game without fans, without a big arena, without players earning big money, without fancy uniforms, but you just can have a basketball game without a ball.
In Christianity, you can have big, expensive church buildings, you can have sound Biblical doctrine, you can have knockout assemblies, you can have big offerings, but if you don't have a fundamental faith in Christ that is transforming you into His disciple, you cannot have Christianity.
(Let me err on the side of caution--I may have found this story in an old bulletin article back in the nineties. If so, I apologize to the original writer for not giving proper credit.)