Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
Are you a good team player? Do you get along well with others? These questions are used all of the time in the athletic arena as well as the business world today. I think this also applies to the local church family. Are we good team players? Can we take a bow in recognition for doing a fine job without letting our ego get out of control? Can we take constructive criticism and learn from it without getting a bad attitude, after all the Bible does say, “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction, but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.” Prov. 15:5.
Can you handle being temporarily set on the bench while the Lord prunes you for his work? Can you remain faithful to the team to which God has placed you during this time without grumbling and spreading discord among the other members of your team?
Mature players, just as mature believers know they are not always at their best. They know it is their instructor, the Holy Spirit, who is responsible, and is duty bound to pull them from the field of competition for the betterment of the team at times. Sometimes even a pastor has to reposition a member in a role in the church, or place a little more responsibility on a member at times. As expected personal friendships at these times can be at risk, especially if you are the one who has to pull someone from something they like doing to do something else the team needs.
It must be noted by everyone on the team, including the coach / pastor that no individual is greater than the group, and no one is ever greater than the purpose of the group.
In a local church the pastor is to lead by example and the mature men and women are to lead by their example as well. Of course, Bible doctrine sets the standard for what a Christian example is.
None of us are above the example, and no man made codes and methodologies are exempt from Bible doctrine, which is the rule that sets the standard of conduct.
The Apostle Paul also knew that no believer ever knows it all, or is 100% right all of the time. He knew that we all have room for improvement either in our knowledge of the Bible, or in bettering our character as believers. He knew we can always improve in our spiritual gift capacities. He knew if he accomplished anything in the name of the Lord that all the credit belonged to the Lord. He counted all of the things that he could do, and the things which he had to be nothing more than waste, if they were separate from the Lord (Phil. 3:7-9). Human praise was the last thing Paul desired. Personal recognition was the last thing on his mind. It was Paul’s mission, even as it is ours, to grasp as much of the epignosis; the higher knowledge of Christ as possible, even if it cost us our life.
There are many in the ministry today who boast of their accomplishments. They send out invitations for other believers to come and listen to their alleged success secrets, and of course most of the time there is a hefty price tag to go along with the revelation of their secrets of success. This is never what Paul did. His idea of success was for men to preach the word; the whole counsel of God’s word, and then let the Holy Spirit do the rest. He did not rely on slick marketing techniques on how to get people in the church. The late Dr. H. A. Ironside said the church is for the saved. It is the place where God’s people must come in and let the mind of Christ be formed in our lives; where we learn to be occupied with Christ. This is how we learn to operate as a team for Jesus Christ.
Paul realized his successes may have drawn the favor of some, but his determination to stick with the truth would drive off others just as fast. Fellow saints, we are servants on the Lord’s team and we serve at His bidding, I Cor. 3:5-8.