Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Reflections for April 14, 2010

"The Importance of Teamwork"

Any great coach understands the importance of teamwork. While teams may have stars that are mostly created by the fans and media, the coach understands that the star shines more brightly when his/her teammates provide the support needed. The greatest challenge for the coach is to discover where the individuals can be used most effectively to assure the team will benefit the most. In the process the coach must convince each player that his/her contribution to the team is vital. When you eliminate star status and have everyone understanding their contribution is essential for the team to be all it can be, the team has the greatest opportunity to reach its full potential.

This same principle of teamwork determines the success of the church. The major difference is the Lord Jesus Christ is the owner of the church. Through His Holy Spirit, He provides the gifts that His church needs to fulfill every demand He places upon it. Failure to succeed is never due to lack of giftedness but to underachievement by the individuals to whom the gifts have been given.

Like a great coach, the successful pastor must be able to lead the people to discover their gifts and to use them effectively for the building up of the body of Christ which is the church. Paul spells out this responsibility in his letter to the Ephesians. He wrote, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ;” (4:11, 12 NASB).

I believe these two verses teach that a pastor has three important responsibilities toward his members. First, the pastor must assist his people in discovering their gifts. One of the reasons the 20-80 percent principle (20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work.) is reflected in many congregations is the people have never been taught they are gifted. Because they have had no formal training, they assume they can do nothing. Second, the pastor is responsible with assisting the people in developing their gifts. God gives the gifts but the receiver is responsible for developing it. It does not develop without the proper attention. Third, the pastor must be willing to lead the people into deploying their gift in ministry to the church and the community in which the church is located.

Is the picture becoming clearer? Christ gives the gifts; the pastor does his part; and the people do theirs. Working together the task gets done. Since Christ gave the gifts, He is the only one who deserves praise. Everyone else has done his or her part, according to the gifts that have been bestowed upon them. No one has the right to claim more importance. Only Christ is deserving of the glory.

Have you discovered your gift(s)? Are you looking for opportunities to develop your gifts? Are you using them to build up the body of Christ? If you answered yes to these questions, you are the type of team player, I believe Christ would call faithful.

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