3 Lessons from Top Gun 2 – Lesson 2

You can read this even if you haven’t seen the movie, and none of the illustrations ruin the movie if you haven’t seen it yet. If you do see the movie and you have another take away, please share it with us.


In the movie, Maverick goes against the enemy that has a more advanced plane. It is faster, more moveable, etc. It is intimidating to the pilots. After all, their life is at stake and they have a major disadvantage. Maverick is quick to reply, “It is not the plane. It is the pilot.” Your skills are better.

Comparison is one of the biggest discouragers today. It robs people of who God created them to be and keeps them from pursuing their goals and dreams, because they are intimidated by others who have a better plane (i.e. church, budget, staff, location, logo, larger attendance, etc.). We get intimidated to the point we don’t even try: “We are just a small church.” “We have no money.” Church planting research shows that churches which started with more money and people (better plan) have a greater failure rate because they trust more in their resources than in God and themselves.

A research project that studied student success discovered the greatest factor for student success. Many assumed it was the plane. Factors like wealth, race, intelligence, family background, school size, or school programs. The key factor was grit. Kids that endured failures, were dedicated to overcome challenges, who persevered, and were resourceful. All the qualities you can’t buy or manufacture … and are not the plane. They are the pilot.

We need to stop looking at the planes, and that includes ourselves, and look to Jesus. My favorite quote from the book One at a Time is: “Do for one what we wish we could do for all.” I do not have a huge plane with unlimited resources. None of us do. But I can help one. Jesus didn’t heal everyone, but He did the one that was in front of Him. Let us not be intimidated, but start doing for one what we wish we could do for all.

by: Rev. Jason Scheler, Mission Executive of the LCMS Southern District

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