We’ve all witnessed them. The teams that moves like they’re gliding on ice through regular and post seasons. The ones where every player knows their role and plays it flawlessly, teammates who support each other and build off each other’s strengths.
Teams don’t work well if only one person handles the brunt of the effort. Everyone plays a part that contributes to the overall wellbeing of the team. As the church is one body with many parts, so a good team is one unit comprised of athletes who play in different positions across the field or court.
In similar fashion, we can be part of the most incredible team: Team Jesus. When Jesus came to earth and called His disciples, He reached out to motley individuals and in three years, united them towards one common goal: sharing the good news of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. Fast forward to now--we have our chance to connect for the Kingdom and be united on Team Jesus. We are entrusted with caring for each other, and we look to Jesus’ example.
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. – Philippians 2:4-5
Below are four attributes of a good team, both athletically and for Team Jesus:
They are driven by the same goal, understand what they want to achieve and know how they are going to accomplish it. At the beginning of each season, the coach gathers his team around and concentrates on where they want to be by certain points in the year. No one is alone; even if your performance is individual based, there is the bigger team picture your performance helps. You play your role well to help your team win its post-season games to make it to the championship. It’s this focus that helps the exceptional teams stand out from the average.
Jesus placed great value on community, of pulling people close and knitting together authentic relationships that hinged on the heart of His ministry. In the book of Proverbs, it says it’s quite good and pleasant when people dwell together in unity. We share in one another’s burdens and blessings and move as one with one main goal of recruiting more teammates to believe in Jesus.
Communication is important in all of life, but especially the fast-paced environment of athletics, where one wrong interpretation or a lack of communication can cause detrimental results. Know your end goal and what you want, as well as who you are, and learn about the others around you, too. The more we talk to one another to clearly paint the picture of where we are in the shot clock, what plays we’re running, and who’s covering second base on the throwdown from the catcher, the better equipped we are to implement what we need to win the game.
Likewise, we need to use our voice to share the good news of Jesus to those around us. To give encouragement to a friend who’s down or build up another teammate’s abilities and character. There is power in words, and we, as players on Team Jesus, have the most power to bring the life of Christ to our team, our families and our community.
What do you put into your team? Whether you’re the returning all-star or the practice player, your contribution matters. When we share and understand the goal we’re aiming for, we can better learn how our roles can best be utilized for our team’s greatest strength.
In similar ways, we should give our best effort to God in our daily life. Once we embrace the Kingdom of God, we can use our individual role to stay in tune with Him. By reading the Bible, spending time in prayer and looking for opportunities to serve, we’ll be tuned in to recognize God in our days and be ready to act and speak like Him.
Team takes commitment. It takes an unyielding steadfastness to long seasons, longer off-seasons, and training, workouts, eating right and keeping up with schoolwork as needed. Being an athlete isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s a beautiful dedication that manifests wonderful results when done right. Our determination to care for our bodies, teammates and abilities brings out the best in us, and when we’re on a team we love, we’ll gladly give our all for the sake of a championship season.
Players on Team Jesus are a passionate, enthusiastic group who are invigorated by the love of God and are willing to give their time, talent and treasure to see the world come to know Him. Are we willing to be all in for Christ and dedicate our lives to know and love Him more? By committing our strengths, weaknesses, abilities and life to God, He enables us to reach farther than we ever could on our own.
Christ gave everything to give us the chance to be on His team. While we can freely accept the gift of salvation, being on Jesus’ team invites us to live a life that his honoring to Him and will bring Him glory. This is our part on His team. When great athletes play for a coach they respect and admire, it’s easy to do everything possible to succeed and see his goals accomplished.
Let’s take Team Jesus with us as we enter back into our seasons and keep in mind just what it takes to be part of the best team of all.
Want to know more about Team Jesus? Read FCA’s new YouVersion Bible Reading Plan: Team Jesus.
Consider: Which of the four attributes above do you want to grow in? Which one do you think you already do well?
Action: Take the attribute you want to grow in and list out at least three ways you can invite God into it.