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Out Our Way: Teamwork - Ephesians 4: 1- 16

 

Last updated 8/6/2021 at 7:51am

Out our way, we know the value of teamwork. Whether it is in sports, working the land, riding herd, or serving the Lord, it is a team effort.

I recall in my youth a few "superstars" who, despite their personal talent, got cut from the team because they weren't team players. Hugging the ball instead of passing to an open teammate lost us points and games. As a kid, I helped with wheat harvest and saw the teamwork between the combine and the grain truck. The combine cut the grain and the truck hailed it to the silo. We wouldn't get the job done without both of them. Then, as you recall, I worked cattle with Big Mike's crew and every rider had a specific job. I rode drag and pushed, someone else rode flank and kept them bunched up. Someone else rode sweep and pushed strays back into the herd, and of course, someone rode point to keep us going in the right direction. It took teamwork to get the job done.

Paul reminds us that it takes teamwork to build the Kingdom of God in the local church as well. Unfortunately, this is a fact that far too many have forgotten and the church suffers as a result. My late cousin lost all faith in the church because she had become involved in one of those personality driven churches where the preacher was the "star,. The altar area turned into a stage, the sanctuary was an "auditorium" and the congregation an "audience." There was no team beyond the "stars of the show" who did it all. The congregation simply paid for it.

I did some research for my doctorate on church growth and stability - and an interesting fact I uncovered was none of the "mega churches" survived for more than a generation or two, for there had never been a church, only a loyal audience. On the other hand, small congregations who often had trouble finding a pastor continued on generation after generation because, as Paul reminded them, the true church is all the members working together. The body of Christ is made up of many members, each with her or his unique gift or talent, sharing the load and serving the Kingdom in their own unique way.

It is always a good idea to take stock from time to time of our gifts and how to offer them to the Lord. Help clean the sanctuary. Volunteer for child care on worship days. Help reach out to the folks in the hospital or homebound. Remember the folk at the care center. Give a neighbor a ride to the store. All this is ministry and the work of the church. For our goal is to represent the Body of Christ to a dying world.

The call of Christ to His followers is "teamwork!" You have a gift the Lord requires for His Team. We can't fully be the church without you.

Be blessed and be a blessing.

Brother John

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The Rev. John Bruington is the retired pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Havre. He now lives in Colorado, but continues to write "Out Our Way." He can be reached for comment or dialogue at [email protected]

 

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