Let’s Go Team Church!
For Jonathan and me, one of the joys of being parents in this season is watching our kids play the sports they love. We’ve always been a soccer family, but Calum has a natural passion for baseball so we’ve loved cheering on his team from the sidelines. However, this last spring we discovered that the level of commitment was defined very differently by other families on the team. There were multiple occasions when some teammates didn’t come to practices and games. In fact, we would have had to forfeit a couple of games if my older son and daughter hadn’t stepped in to play. We really missed the unique abilities all the players brought to the team.
It was a reminder to me that every player is essential to the game. Without the players, there is no team. Without the team, there is no baseball.
Have you ever thought about church as a team? There are lots of reasons God asks us to gather in one place to worship him, but one that we often don’t talk about is encouragement—supporting our team in the mission by each of us playing a necessary position.
Hebrews 10:19-25 says, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Jesus told us we wouldn’t fit in with the world, so he designed the Church to be our home base. When the enemy tries to beat us down, we gather to encourage and be encouraged. We can pray and be prayed for. We can offer wisdom and receive wisdom. And yes, even though it’s hard, we can confess to each other and have someone look us in the eyes and proclaim Jesus’ powerful name over our sin, reminding us that we are cleansed from a guilty conscience and that we can draw near to God with a sincere and open heart in faith.
This is Team Church. Or… should I say, this could be Team Church, if we let God work in us. He is a gentle God. He does not force us to offer our gifts or our time or to be vulnerable in a conversation. He knows it’s been a long two years of separation, fear, mixed feelings and change, and it will require humility and patience and grace. But he longs to see his kids building each other up. He longs to empower us with gifts that get used to grow the Kingdom. He longs to see his Church reflect the beauty of Christ and his love for the world.
Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:19-20
We are the Most Holy Place in which God resides. Team Church holds unswervingly to hope even when it gets muddy, even when it disagrees with each other, and even when we fumble a play. (Not if, but when!) We get back on that field and play the positions God has made us to play because we are each essential. We are in a daily battle, but we have a High Priest who won the ultimate victory for us. It will be an epic championship banquet.
Now let’s go, Team Church!
GATHER HOPE We Gather together to worship God, hear His Word, and be reminded of His call on our lives and His love for each of us.