Just Win

by Richard Mansel, managing editor
footballfield2.jpgA new high school football coach stood facing his team on the first day of practice. He asked them what their goal was for the new season.
One player spoke up and said, “To just win all of our games!”
The rest of the team cheered and several teammates slapped the young man on the back, leaving him beaming.
The coach said, “Was that your goal last season?”
“Uh, yes, sir,” the player said.
“How did that work out?”
“Well, we went 3-7, Sir.”
“Well, those days are over. We’ll have a new goal this season.”
Another player spoke up, “Don’t you want us to win every game?”
“I don’t want you to focus on wins and losses, but on yourself and the team.”
They stared at him with quizzical looks, confused as to what their future held.
As we contemplate our mission as a church, we can learn from this coach. He went on to explain to the team that they would be successful if they focused on their next game and each player sought to improve and master their responsibilities.
We are often as short sighted as the players on this team. We are just looking to win without realizing all that goes into victory. Often, we are like a football team with a star player. We are all waiting for him to win the game for us.
The preacher is often the one who plays that role. We expect him to do everything while we watch and analyze his performance.
A man once said to a preacher, “I don’t visit. That is what we pay you for.” He was waiting for the preacher to take the ball and score, while he sipped Gatorade on the sidelines.
The truth is that success as a congregation is a team effort. Every member must find a task and do it with all of their might as we bring glory to God. Our service is not a medal of accomplishment, but a sweet-smelling savor to the Lord (Ephesians 5:2).
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NKJV).
We serve him with our peculiar abilities, coupled with the power of God, and within the boundaries of our environment. Utilizing our skills and opportunities, we put them to work to build our own faith and bring blessings to our spiritual family and ultimately to Christ, the author of our faith (Hebrews 5:9).
A highly tuned congregation of the Lord’s body can produce extraordinary results as they blanket the field with workers. Every member does what it can to edify and enrich the whole.
The Church began with this singular focus and phenomenal blessings came upon them (Acts 2:40-47).
Paul stressed that this unanimity of purpose was not a mere dream, but the result of everyone realizing the weight of being in Christ and a part of his work (Ephesians 3:11-16).
A company of one or two workers and dozens of advisers never accomplishes anything.
Our goal should be to maximize our efforts and to mature spiritually and remain focused on doing the work of Christ. When we take our eyes of this goal, we find our priorities skewed, as well.
Let us get back to basics and do the work Christ left for us, unencumbered by the weights of a world immersed in chaos.

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