“We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.”
— 1 Thessalonians 2:8
The Dream Team was the nickname given to the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team. It was the first American Olympic team to feature active NBA players, and the results were awesome. As they dominated their way to the gold medal, they beat their opponents by an average of 44 points! Since the Dream Team, the United States has had numerous teams with the best and most talented players, but USA Basketball has never able to repeat the Dream Team’s success.
We always think the best team consists of the best players. However, the best team is about getting the right players. In the movie, Miracle, U.S. Olympic Hockey coach, Herb Brooks, has a classic line when he is selecting the 1980 team. He says to his assistant coach Craig Patrick, “I’m not looking for the best players, Craig. I’m looking for the right ones.”
If you could assemble your own Dream Team (personally or professionally), who would be on it? Who are the right teammates who will bring out the best in you, and you will bring the best out in them too? Who are the right teammates who will build you up when you’re down, pick you up when you stumble, and walk with you through thick and thin? Getting the right people on your team and understanding the role they play is essential.
Even though we understand the power of teams, we often isolate ourselves. Proverbs 18:1 warns us not to isolate ourselves, because we will make foolish decisions and waste time. Isolation is the silent enemy and always ends in failure and regret. Teams help us fulfill our potential and live purposefully, but if we distance ourselves from our teammates, we will crash and burn.
In the last 45 days, I have been with over 50 of our international leaders in five countries. Every time I spend time with them in their communities, my heart comes alive, because I see first-hand how they are serving God faithfully through victory and defeat. It is humbling to see them become the hands and feet of Jesus to their coaches and athletes. During this time, I realized that God is assembling a Dream Team of international leaders, and he is pulling together the right leaders so that ministry can flourish with the right strategy and methods.
There are two things that I have learned from our Dream Team of international leaders: contagious passion and undeniable urgency.
1. Contagious Passion: Our leaders have a passion for Jesus and a passion for people. You can tell that they have been with Jesus each day, and they are walking in faith. They are ministering out of the overflow and blessing those around them. They live with an irrational faith, because they are taking bold steps of faith and expecting God to show up daily! Their passion is anchored with unwavering conviction, and when I return home, I desire to serve like them. My passion bucket gets filled when I am with our international teammates!
2. Undeniable Urgency: When our international leaders share about their ministry, there is an urgency in their voice. They speak as if there is limited time and something needs to be now. It reminds me of the great missionary Amy Carmichael’s quote, “We have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but only a few short years to win them.” I am reminded of James 4:14 that compares our lives to a vapor or mist. Gone in seconds! Every day counts for eternity. I am challenged by them to have an undeniable urgency to my life.
God is assembling a Dream Team that is allowing us to lead every coach and athlete in every sport and nation into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church. They minister with contagious passion and undeniable urgency. Pray that God will raise up more leaders in more countries to join our Dream Team. Pray that God will show you how to live and serve with contagious passion and undeniable urgency.
“Father, I pray for more workers to serve in Your harvest field. It’s not our field but Yours. Put together the Dream Team You desire. May my life be marked with unwavering passion and undeniable urgency. In Jesus’ name, amen."