Yesterday I ran another race. This was a challenge I had not yet taken on. I participated in the Market to Market race. It is a 6-8 person team (ours had 8) that begins its relay run in Jefferson, IA and finishes in Des Moines, IA. We run along the Raccoon River Trail. I was told that it is formerly a railroad track which explains its relatively flat route. In total we as a team run 75 miles. Our goal was to finish our run in under 12 hours. As a part of this relay we run anywhere from 2-3 times during the course of the day. I personally had to run 2 legs of the run. It included a 6 mile run and a 4 mile run. As prepared for my run and as I was running had to remind myself of one of the first lessons my 1st coach ever taught me. There is no “I” in team. I couldn’t run this race on my own. I was going to need my teammates to get me through it. Then there was the constant reminder that not only can I not do it on my own, my team did need me. I needed me to do what I said I would do. In order for us to meet our goal I would have to keep my face strong. I would have to keep running, not matter how tired I was. I would have to keep running in the rain, cold, heat, humidity, whatever the weather was going to throw at me. I had to do “my job.”
As always, I am thinking about spiritual things (among other things) while I am running. Not only is there no “I” in team, there is no “I” in church. As a preacher, this had immediate ramifications. I am not the church. I am merely a member of the local church. I am not the most important part of the church. I am only one member of a very special and important body. Paul reminded the Corinthians of this when they began to debate about who was most important and who was less important. “For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body (1Cor 12:14-20).” The church is not the preacher and the preacher is not the church. The same thing can be said of elders and deacons. I am not saying that they aren’t needed. (They most certainly are) but the other day I was reading a post on a preacher blog about a preacher who was being faced with a difficult situation. The deacons of the local church neglected a lot of their duties. The elders didn’t feel that way. He didn’t know what to do. Why? Because he believed something that wasn’t true. The elders and deacons are not masters of the church. They are not the church. They are servants of God and the local body and if they are permitting the church to suffer because they aren’t doing their job, the local preacher needs to do his.
Speaking of doing our jobs. Brethren, it has been a wonderful couple of weeks. We have those that have been away for the winter back with us. We have others how have been away for other reasons worshipping with us again as well. This is not the time to sit back and say, someone else can take up the mantle. We need to keep doing our “jobs.” I know you need someone in the pulpit, preaching the gospel. I know you need someone visiting the sick. I know you need someone spreading the gospel in our local communities. Just because we have seen the attendance number rise in the last month and a half doesn’t mean that work is over. You need me doing that all the more. But, I also need you doing what you do best. As does every other member of this church. If you don’t have a service you provide, I encourage you to start. It might be helping to take care of the elderly. It might be sending out cards. It might be inviting people to bible studies. It might be watching children so young parents can get a night off. Find something. Do it to the best of your ability. We are all counting on you. WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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There is No I in Team
Volume 7 Issue 19