“Proper clothing required. This is a contaminated area.”
It was my first day on the job as a chemical engineering intern at a nuclear plant that produced weapons-grade material for nuclear bombs. I noticed the sign over the door in the area where I would be working. My supervisor threw me a lab coat, rubber gloves and dust covers for my shoes, and told me to put them on.
I looked at the clothing and said, “I think I need a little more covering than this if I am going into a nuclear war zone!”
He said, “Don’t worry. The worst that could happen is you may pick up one neutron.”
I wondered what one little neutron could do.
That summer, as I began to better understand the science of an atomic bomb, it made me realize two things: First, I should be a pastor, not a nuclear engineer. Second, one neutron is powerful.
A nuclear reaction occurs when one neutron from an atom strikes the nucleus of another atom. In uranium, for example, that atom is split into two and releases three neutrons. A tremendous amount of energy is released. Two of these neutrons are absorbed by another atom, but one neutron then collides with another. This occurs in a split-second for billions of atoms, over and over again, and all of that energy is released.
This power can be used to generate energy for an entire city, or it can be used to bring massive destruction.
The same is true for you. You may think that one person can’t really make that big of a splash in the grand scheme of things. But what if you reached out to one other person and collided in relationship with them and shared the hope of the gospel? The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of you and may transform the life of the one. If that one repeats the process, a chain reaction could occur, saturating every life with the hope of the gospel.
This past Sunday, 300,000 South Carolina Baptists met inside the walls of their churches. Outside those walls, 3.6 million people were not engaged with any Christian church. If every one of those people inside the church collided in relationship and shared the hope of the gospel with one other person each year, we would — in a decade — saturate the state with the hope of the gospel. If some came to know Christ and did the same, a chain reaction would occur, and we could literally saturate the entire planet with the gospel during the same time period.
The alternative is a lukewarm faith and no energy, which will lead to massive destruction. Start the chain reaction. Who’s your One?