A couple of weeks ago I pointed out that, in spite of the lofty expectations attached to their season, the Miami Heat had begun the season as a very average team—struggling to stay above .500. Since then, however, the Heat have been red-hot, and have been on a tear. According to published reports, at the heart of this turnaround was the dreaded “players only” meeting, where the players take each other to task for their bad play. Interestingly enough, that meeting (the likes of which happen frequently in pro sports and often are ineffective) was the catalyst for a resurgence that saw them (as of this writing) reel off nine straight wins and show the kind of brilliance that was expected of them. The adversity of their mediocre start forced them to get it together and work as a team. Success on the court has been a result.
Within the church, we face the same thing. We have a mission and we have expectations of how that mission is to be accomplished—and we often struggle to get out of our own way to accomplish that mission. How can we, as the Body of Christ, get it together? Part, at least, of the answer is that we must recognize the value that each member of the Body (our team) brings to the mission. Paul wrote of this when he said:
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Romans 12:4-5)
We are members one of another—meaning that we are dependent upon one another. This interdependence is at the heart of any effective team. To value each other and appreciate each other and work together with each other to accomplish the mission of Christ. In another place, Paul showed the attitude needed to get it together when he wrote of the practical realities of serving Christ:
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. (1 Cor.3:5-6)
We must work together, but God produces the outcomes. That is at the heart of what makes the Body work—and that is the attitude we must embrace if we, as the Body of Christ, are to get it together.
Bill Crowder, Sport Spectrum Chaplain