The Team of Christ
1 Corinthians 12:12 – For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:17 – If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the body be?
1 Corinthians 12:21 – And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
Romans 12:4-5 - 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 who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
The definition of a team is a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project. Hockey is a team sport. So is life. Teamwork in hockey provides a great model to see how God created His church to exist – and gives us insight in how to live as part of it. We are a part of the team of Christ or as referred to in the Bible, the body of Christ. Our task, job, or project: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” – Matthew 28:19-20
In the NHL a team is allowed 23 players on the roster. Typically a team will keep four lines of forwards with maybe an extra, eight defensemen and two or three goalies, all of these are still a part of one team. Likewise, the church is made up of many members as we see in 1 Corinthians 12:12, Everyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ is a part of the church, the body, the team - and all are of the same Spirit for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7). We have no limit to our roster – the more the merrier!
A team must work together. The Church must work together. The late Herb Brooks said, “All-star teams fail because they rely solely on the individual's talent. The Soviets win because they take that talent and use it inside a system that's designed for the betterment of the team”. Just as a player should use his talents for the betterment of the team, and not for themselves, so should a member of the church use their talents for the betterment of the church.
For a team to be successful they will need to have a variety of skill sets. A team full of snipers will be very lacking in defense, and a team full of defensemen will have a tough time scoring. 1 Corinthians 12:17 – If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the body be? If everyone in the church were workers of miracles and there were no administrators, we would be an extremely disorganized group! We wouldn’t be effective in reaching our goal (Matthew 28:19-20). Which means we must learn to integrate our giftings, and show honor and respect to others whose talents are different than ours.
All players will be gifted in some areas, and will need to really work on other areas. It is the same with our role in the church – we all have spiritual gifts, but our role is not limited to only these areas. Everyone knows Steven Stamkos can bury a one timer from the left circle – that’s his specialty – but he also has to be able to pass, back check, cycle, and a hundred other skills it takes to play hockey. We all have our giftings which should be leaned on – if you’re a gifted teacher, you should teach. However, you should not be limited to only teaching in supporting the body of Christ – just as every hockey player should grow in basic skills, so every team member of Christ should grow in prayer, knowledge of scripture, ability to teach, wisdom, discernment, and a hundred other things that can draw themselves and others closer to Jesus Christ. And that is our task, our job, our project – to make disciples.
What areas do you need to grow in to be a ‘complete player’? How can you use your talents in the church – for the betterment of the team?
For more on the body of Christ read 1 Corinthians 12, Matthew 25:24-30, Ephesians 4:1-7
Posted on Tue, November 13, 2012
by Todd Lohstreter filed under