Recently I reread a quote from Vince Lombardi, the Hall of Fame football coach, about what makes a team work. It went like this:
“Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
Vince Lombardi was well known for his belief that the team worked because of the individual commitment that each member of the team had for the group success. Church is not a football team, it’s much more important than that. It doesn’t work because of individual effort; it accomplishes by our yielding to the Spirit. But a church must have individuals who are committed to do the work of God through His church.
How would this look?
First, it means the commitment to something bigger than ourselves. I really think we do not truly understand the importance of our dedication to do one, great thing.
Jesus certainly understood this. He talked about His purpose. He came to seek and to save the lost. He came to make the Father known. He had a singleness of purpose.
When He ascended into heaven, he left His followers with a purpose. They would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Second, it means working for the good of the group and giving up our own ambitions. The apostles certainly understood this. They left father and mother and their own worldly ambitions to proclaim the resurrection of Christ. Almost to a man, they faced horrible persecution and death because of the mission.
The result was that a majority of the Roman Empire trusted Christ as Lord.
Third, it means a life of meaning and purpose. We often think that living for Christ is filled with sacrifice, and it is. But sacrifice is not simply to suffer, it is also to be filled with meaning and purpose. It means seeing what God can do with a person fully committed to Him. It means seeing the Kingdom come.
Have you considered what could happen if a church followed these simple principles? Could a community be transformed? Could lives be reshaped? Could we have hope? Could Christ become the heart and soul of a church and a community?