Being Part of a Team

Often when I refer to our church body or its leadership, I use the term “team” in association with it. When I think of a family, I think of a team. When I think of a church family, I also think of a team. And when I think of all the people involved every week in the functioning of the ministry of Summerville Baptist Church, I again think of a team. As with any team, the whole is only as strong as its weakest member. The effectiveness of any team is dependent on each member of the team working in harmony with the rest of the team. One player on a football team can negate the complete effectiveness of an offensive or defensive play by not being in their spot, on time, and doing their part of the play. A quarter back can throw a perfect pass to where the receiver is supposed to be on the timing route that was called, but it will still be incomplete or even intercepted if the receiver is running the wrong route. A running back will not have a hole in the line of scrimmage to go through from his blockers if they are blocking one play strategy and he is running a completely different play. On a team you have a head coach and many other coaches who work with the head coach, you may also have a team captain and perhaps a co-captain, but everyone on the team is not leading the team. Unfortunately, on many teams, you often have more people on the bench than are actually in the competition. The bench players may or may not get playing time, but they need to be ready to go when called upon and that makes them vital to the success of the whole team. Games have been won and lost by the difference of the bench players of each team. The saddest reality is that in many team competitions there are far more spectators watching and critiquing the ones competing, but not doing much to add to the effectiveness of the competition. In fact, they sometimes hinder the effectiveness of the team by creating distractions or even interfering in the play of the competition. I remember watching a baseball game in which a high pop fly was going toward the outfield fence. The left fielder had his eye on the ball running to get in the best position he could to make a play on the ball. Unfortunately, a person in the stands also had their eye on the ball watching as it came right towards them. They were totally oblivious to the fielder who was getting ready to time his leap perfectly in hopes of catching the ball, getting the out, closing the inning, and robbing the batter of a homerun. As the fielder went up to catch the ball with his mitt the fan put out his mitt as well and, in doing so, the fan’s mitt ended up in front of the fielder’s mitt messing up the fielder’s chance at a spectacular catch. The worst part was the fan who caught the ball was routing for the team that he interfered with and he helped the opposing team get on base as well as score a run. For a family, a church, or its leadership to be effective we all need to be on the team, knowing our part on the team, executing our role in harmony with the others on the team, and supportive of each other on the team. Don’t be content just being a spectator– get in the action of ministry. Don’t be a critic merely watching; be an engaged component in the effectiveness of the ministry team. And for sure don’t interfere with the effectiveness of the ministry team by hindering what God is seeking to do with His servants. Don’t worry about what you are not able to do, just do what you can do to the best of your ability to the glory of God.