Saturday, September 20, 2014

September 21, 2014

"For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."  Romans 12:4-8

As an avid sports fan I really appreciate a well executed play.

When a running back blasts through the line of scrimmage and breaks free for a long touchdown run and brings the fans to their feet. It is a spectacular play that makes the running back look like a star. But then the slow motion replay reveals there were several stars involved in the play. The quarterback received a perfect snap from the center and the center flattened the nose guard with a devastating block while the quarterback executed a perfect fake before handing the ball to the running back. At the same time the guard on the left side moved the defensive tackle and the fullback blocked the linebacker to open the hole for the "star" running back. Down field and out of the view of the TV camera a wide receiver threw a block that took out the final tackler to seal the touchdown run.


Every member of the offensive unit had a role to execute and they used their unique set of skills and ran it to perfection. One player carried the ball but the entire team got the score! Oh, the beauty of team sports!

A team needs a good quarterback but a team of eleven quarterbacks on the offense would be a joke. So it would be with eleven centers or eleven guards or eleven ends! It takes eleven players each one skilled at one of the eleven positions to have a chance to win at football.

To take a group of players with various gifts and skills and put them into their positions so they work together is the challenge of the coaching staff. Getting eleven players with differing backgrounds, interests and skills to function as one in the spirit of team work is no small task. It is why successful coaches make the mega salaries.

I can think of something more exciting and beautiful than a perfectly executed touchdown play. That would be a team of believers within a local church who work together within their areas of giftedness develop disciples for Christ!

God, in His great wisdom gave a variety of gifts and talents to every church body. The challenge of the leaders in those churches is to identify the gifts and put those players in the right positions! He has designed the ministry dynamic of the Church so that the variety of gifts and talents and skills will divide the fellowship if they don't depend on the Holy Spirit to unite and anoint those gifts, talents and skills.

One of my mentors, Bill Hybels, in order to answer a call to ministry walked away from a multi-million dollar family business that he had been groomed to lead and eventually inherit. When asked about that choice he expresses no regrets and clearly affirms, "I have the greatest leadership challenge imaginable! I am called to lead the most important organization on the planet and accomplish the most important task in the universe and I get to do it with volunteers!" (BTW - he has built one of the largest and most effective churches in the world in the process)

If you attend a local church, God has led you there to be part of a winning team that can help win the world for Christ. 

Will you discover your spiritual gift? Your pastor can help you!

When you know your gift will you play your position?