One of the first things you’ll learn about me is that I’m a HUGE sports fan. As a kid, baseball was my first love. I started playing basketball when I was in Junior-High, and ended up playing all through College. I learned many lessons in my years playing basketball; lessons about the game, life, and even some spiritual lessons.
I went to a Christian High School, so sports were never just about the game. My coach focused just as much on us coming together as a team and forming a close bond, than he did on working out our plays or practicing our free throws. The biggest lesson that follows me today is our need for a team, a community. We needed to work together as one unit if we wanted to succeed on and off the basketball court. This reminds me of the passage in 1 Corinthians where Paul talks about the church and how it’s similar to the human body. No ‘one’ part is better than the other, and every single part of the body is needed in order for the body to function properly.
Imagine with me for a moment how ridiculous it would look if all five players on the court started doing their own thing; no one communicating with each other, running wherever they wanted to, and maybe even throwing the ball in the wrong basket. That “team” wouldn’t last very long, nor would they be very successful. In fact, it would make for a very funny highlight reel. It’s vital that every member of the team work together with the same goal and for the same purpose. Everyone has a different role to play, and although each role requires different abilities and talents, all are just as vitally important to the success of the team. If just one part suffers, the entire team suffers.
The Church works the exact same way. The “Church” is not the building, it’s the people. We need to remind ourselves that we are a team. We need to work together with the same goals in mind, and for the same purpose. If we don’t, we will surely suffer, and quite possibly fail. We should want to see everyone celebrating together in Heaven. Can you imagine that kind of rally?
This brings me to this past Sunday morning. For those of you who don’t know, Vanessa Hoppe decided to surrender her life to Jesus during the recent trip to Michigan Statewide Convention. Because of this, my wife Molly had the honor of baptizing her. This is a perfect picture of Matthew 28 where Jesus tells his disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” That command is for ALL disciples, not just the ministers or the elders. Every follower of Jesus is given abilities and talents so they can execute their role within the body of Christ, for the singular purpose of making more disciples of Jesus.
So, what is your role? Are you playing your part?