In July, we talked about what it means to Examine The Team. We took a closer look at who we hang around and how we might adjust to place us with people who will best support our faith and lead us closer to Jesus.
This month, we dig into what it looks like to Draft The Team. We’ll focus on what Jesus paid attention to and how He chose who He did to follow Him, and how we can do the work that’s needed to grow in our faith.
In the professional sports world, draft preparation begins long before the actual draft day itself. There’s a year’s worth of analysis, examination, checking in with coaching staff on a player’s character as well as ability. Hours upon hours are dedicated to finding the right player who will best fit into the organization’s plans athletically and as a whole. Scouts watch film and live games of multiple players, watching how they react to calls, how they connect with their teammates and what they bring to their position.
When draft day arrives, each team has its list of players they hope to add to their roster and do everything in their power to make sure they get who they want. A ton of work has already been done to get to this point, and this is simply when it’s determined whether the work has paid off.
What if we took as much care in constructing our team of people who will inspire and encourage our spiritual walk? What if we were selective and spent time getting to know someone to see how they acted when no one’s looking or lived out their faith in God?
Our intentionality to whom we dedicate time and effort to determines our game plan for a life lived in the fullness of Christ together. It’s important that we pay attention to the kind of person who exhibits characteristics of Jesus, loves the Lord with heart and strength and will stand firm on His Word. Why? Who we hang around holds influence, and we can follow in either direction for negative or positive impact.
To gain a closer perspective, let’s look at how Jesus evaluated and chose the people He did to follow His example. What were His requirements? What did He pay attention to, and how did He approach those who would become His disciples?
Each of the disciples were dedicated to someone or something: Matthew, to his work; Peter, to friends and family; Nathaniel, to a longing for something more. They had passion and commitment to see the job done and fully invest their entire being into what they believed in. Jesus saw a willingness to stand with Him, whatever the cost. He saw a willingness to give up everything for the sake of His Gospel, and a hunger to be filled with the Bread of Life.
“Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.” (John 6:68)
Over the years of Jesus’s ministry, the disciples would ask many questions. They were inquisitive, even in the beginning when Jesus first invited them to follow Him. He knew they would not be satisfied simply being taught, but shown, and allowed to examine for themselves, ask questions and come to answers in their own way. Jesus brought a new way of thinking to the world, and the disciples had a thirst to learn and experience this new way of living.
“Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
(2 Peter 3:18b)
One of the main characteristics that tied the disciples together was their obedience. Each one saw Jesus as his Rabbi and Messiah and were willing to submit to His authority and follow His thoughts, words and actions. Even if they didn’t fully understand, they trusted Jesus enough to follow, wherever that led. Jesus cares about the state of our heart, and if we are willing to submit in obedience to His Lordship over our lives and where He leads.
Pay attention to the types of qualities Jesus says are important.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22)
Jesus saw beyond what the disciples were in the moment He picked them because He knew who they’d become. His draft picks would go on to establish His church and spread the Good News of His Gospel, impacting generations for the Kingdom. Jesus paid attention, and He brought together the best team He knew would be right for His ministry.
What work have you put into who you have around you? Do the friends you have build you up, or bring you towards temptation? Do the places you hang out bring life, or do they make you feel uncomfortable?
Pay attention and ask yourself if you’re setting yourself up for success with Jesus. And don’t be afraid to adjust. Are you willing to change your perspective on the people you’re around? Are you willing to change your environment, or, if needed, to draft a new team?
Do the work that’s needed long before you reach this point, so when you’re ready to take your faith to the next level, you have your list of top picks who will help get you there.
Consider: Are you willing to make the necessary changes to draft a new team that’s best for your life?
Action: Pay attention to the types of qualities Jesus says are important and incorporate them into your thoughts, words and actions.
This quarter, we’re exploring what it means to Pursue Team. This month, our focus is on how to Draft the Team. Join us as we journey through this exploration and prepare to Commit to the Team next month.
One way to actively Pursue Team is through joining an FCA Huddle. The Huddle is one of FCA’s greatest teams. It is an important resource to help coaches and athletes grow in the essentials of their faith and become fully devoted followers of Christ. As a coach or athlete connects to an FCA Huddle, they will surround themselves with teammates who point to Jesus. Bring a friend and find a Huddle near you!
*If you read this article and aren’t in relationship with Christ yet but would like to know more, we invite you to go through FCA’s The FOUR that explains how an everlasting and fulfilling life with God is possible.
Other Pursue Articles:
Read previous months' articles:
January: Imperative: Read The Truth
February: Connected: Pray The Truth
March: Accountable: Reach For Truth
April: Be Honest: Open Your Heart
May: Be Intentional: Examine Your Heart
June: It’s Time: Surrender Your Heart
July: Take Assessment: Examine The Team
Photo courtesy of Unsplash