I have always been an avid sports enthusiast, playing almost every sport at some point in my life. I also enjoy watching sports and learning from pros, plus watching the pros fail as it makes me feel better about my skills!
I have been blessed with 3 kids who are now 18, 17 and 14. Having kids limited the team sports I participated in for many years, but now that my kids are getting older, I have found time to get back into team sports. This summer I find myself playing slow pitch, touch football, and basketball. Many of us enjoy sport for the exercise, testing your skills and abilities, and the thrill of competing. I have always enjoyed the competition aspect of sport. Using strategies and tactics to out think your opponent. But to have those skills requires practice, repetition, and coaching. Often our learning comes from coaches, but also, we learn from teammates, instructional videos, or broadcasters on pro sports. We can always be learning and getting better.
I was thinking more about the concept of team sport. A group of people with same interest working together for a common goal. A good team works together, uses everyone’s skills to benefit the team, coaches that have a plan and a good understanding of direction, who can teach and train in areas that need improvement. A good team provides encouragement and accountability. We have all seen or experienced a bad team, where selfishness, judgement, and corruption are present. Teams where leaders abuse or mistreat players, where there is a lack of responsibility, respect, honour, and accountability. Through goods teams, friendships are developed, strengthened, and nurtured. Good teams develop relationships that last much longer than a sports season. We all need a good team to be a part of.
I have come to learn that one of the best teams I am apart of is Gods team, The church. Not a building, but the people. God wants everyone to be on his team, to be in relationship with Him, but our sin separates us from him. Thankfully Jesus provides the way for us to be joined with God. Through Jesus, the team is made, a group of people understanding their weakness, needing a saviour to take away our sin, and who desire to follow Christs leading. Gods team has Pastors and Leaders that have a good understanding of His word, that teach with love. God created us to be in relationship, to be brought together, to be in community. That means that the church shares life with each other, provides encouragement, brings joy and peace, serves each other, and points to the hope that comes from Jesus.
In Hebrews 10:24-25 it states, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Going to church is not about claiming to be perfect but understanding that we are not. Knowing that the only way to become better is by learning how God wants us to live. By meeting with other believers who have the same desire, we learn and grow in our relationship with Jesus, encouraging each other and being encouraged.
Hopefully you have not experienced a bad church, where Jesus is not the focus. Churches where selfishness, judgement, and corruption are present. Churches where people have experienced the abuse or mistreatment from leaders. Churches where there is a lack of responsibility, respect, honour, and accountability.
Jesus said the greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind, and to love your neighbour as yourself.
Galatian’s 6:2 states “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ”. These are the qualities of a good church.
Sometimes we go through seasons where we need the church to lift us up, other times we get to lift others up. We don’t have to struggle alone.
Doesn’t that sound like a good team to be a part of? That’s a team I want to win with!