This coming Sunday morning we are going to talk about “Teamwork.” My favorite game is college basketball. I enjoy going to a game, I love it when the players are introduced. They turn up the music loud, the lights go out, and then one by one the lineup is called out and the crowd stands to their feet and cheer. As you sit through the game, whether the team is playing well or struggling to a comeback, the crowd gets into it.
Did you know that the Bible has a verse that talks about being on a team and what our part is on it? It is found in Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
It is important for the fans to get behind the players on the team. Just the same in Hebrews, when Paul said we have a cloud of witness (fans) to encourage, motivate, and cheer us on when we get down or struggle in this game called “life.” Not only do we have God on our side, but the stories of those spiritual influences that lived before, still encourage and give hope.
The Christian life is much like a game. And participating athletes or team players have to be lean and fit. You cannot be a lukewarm Christian and still be on the winning team.
God did not create you and I just to live for ourselves. He wants you and I to care about the hurting people in our lives. He wants you and I to make a difference. He put you and I on this planet to make a contribution. You and I were planned for God’s pleasure. You and I were formed for God’s family. You and I were created to be like Christ. You and I were shaped to serve God. And you and I were made for a mission.
Jesus came to Earth not just to tell us how to love, but to show us! Jesus came to serve, not be served. A servant’s life is not self- centered but rather is focused on God and His work. The Bible calls us to serve the Father by following His model.
While the word teamwork does not appear in the Bible, the Word of God does contain a lot of information about working together. Teamwork is evident in the societal structures of marriage, family, community, and business. Advice for daily living, conflict management, and related issues is available in Scripture; you just have to know where to look and how to apply the Bible’s principles of teamwork to today’s business or ministry model.
The first examples of teamwork found in the Bible are in the opening chapter of Genesis. There we find the Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, working in concert at creation (Genesis 1:1–3). Each member of the Godhead had a position to fill in the creation of the world; each One had a defined job to perform.
On the sixth day of creation, God fashioned Adam and Eve, the first human team. They were designed to complement each other and mirror the image and the community—the teamwork—of the Trinity (Genesis 1:26–27).
Teamwork is a vital part of life in the body of Christ. God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts, talents, and abilities. There are no superstars in this task, only team members performing their own unique roles. We can only become useful members of God’s team if we are prepared to set aside any desire to receive glory for what we do.
Is it a surprise that our church team sputters at times? Maybe we should function more like a football team. Hold spiritual tryouts before you let anyone join the church. Cut most of the rookie believers or send them to another church to gain experience. Waive all the Christians with bad attitudes or poor work ethics. Fine any church members who are late to meetings or services. Make the ushers run laps when they miss a row while passing the offering plate. How about fifty pushups for the pastor if he goes too long (poor clock management) (You got to blame somebody). With that kind of discipline, you could shape up the church, but it would cease to be the body of Christ.
The church will always be a little dysfunctional because people like me and you are on the team. So, don’t be surprised when a committee member fumbles, a leader misses a block, or a staff member tosses an interception. Part of our assignment in our church is learning how to love those we would like to trade or waive. So, we might as well keep our eyes on the Coach, Jesus, and look for the fun in our dysfunction.
Be a good teammate! When someone makes a mistake, get over it, encourage them and be a leader. You might need encouragement too before the game is over. Help them up and reach out to a teammate that is down. Play as a team according to the Coach’s playbook. If you think you are better than your teammates you will hurt the team and yourself. Don’t second guess your Coach!
Make every Day Count!
Get in the Game Today!