I find an odd joy in cheesy clichés. Without cheesy clichés, how would we know what to do “when life gives us lemons?” How would we relax without someone telling us to “let our hair down?” How would we accomplish anything without knowing “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take?” It would surely be an “uphill battle.”
But there is one cheesy cliché I’m finding to be deeply biblical and accurate when used to describe fruitful Christian community: “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
I’ve heard it, and you’ve heard it. But, our Little League coach wasn’t the first to say it. Listen to what King Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts.”
According to God’s Word, teamwork really does make the dream work. And this is bigger than a Little League baseball game. It’s bigger than the World Series. We’ve been invited onto the field of God’s mission, to make known the good news about Jesus and to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28).
Teamwork — or kingdom cooperation — is key to carrying out the Great Commission. This is why Jesus sent His disciples out in teams (Luke 10:1) and taught them to pray for more teammates (Luke 10:2). This is why Paul coached the Philippian church to play as a team saying, “make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose”(Philippians 2:2).
It’s a beautiful thing when the Church works together to see God glorified, disciples made and lives transformed by the gospel. Teamwork really does make the dream work.
SERVING IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
While unity is at a premium during this season, I’m amazed at how God is bringing together different people with different stories and situations to participate in His mission. Over the last few months, I’ve had the privilege of seeing a 35-year employee of General Motors use his first official day of retirement to serve at our free community car wash. At the same event, a young couple spent their anniversary loving neighbors in the name of Jesus.
A police officer comes straight from his overnight shift to run our sound board on Sunday mornings. A young mom and others have spent time each week serving with a local community organization. Another young lady is currently leveraging her life to love a beautiful little boy through foster care. Retired teachers have used their time and resources to love and serve young families. A young man even moved from Alabama to be a part of our missionary team. And, don’t forget the normal, everyday people who have left church every Sunday to live as everyday missionaries all week long. Together as the local church, these people serve and sacrifice, give and go, so lives will be transformed by the gospel. This is more than a cheesy cliché — this is kingdom cooperation.
BUILT FOR COMMUNITY
Seeing God at work in this way has to be my greatest joy as a church planter. Church planting doesn’t come without difficulty. This calling has a niche for exposing our inadequacies, attacking our insecurities and exhausting our insufficiencies. But, as I read God’s Word and see it in action through the church He is planting, I want to be on the team and in the game!
I want to be part of something bigger than myself, connecting people to Jesus and seeing lives transformed by the gospel. As I see this team work to make the God-given dream work, I want to be involved in identifying, discipling and developing the next line of teammates to do the same.
It’s tempting to chalk kingdom cooperation up to a cheesy cliché or unrealistic ideal, but God knows better. He built us for community because He knows we are better together.
The question is, do we really believe teamwork makes the dream work? Are we willing to sacrifice personal preferences for the good of the team? Will we release control to be a part of something bigger than ourselves? Will we be patient and do the hard work of developing the next line of teammates? Will we team up with the local church and be part of what God wants to do in our community?
Need help identifying, discipling and developing your next group of teammates? Learn more about how your church can start a residency program.
Published October 9, 2020