It was a warm, sunny, mid-July day in Minnesota, and as I opened the door to let my guest leave, he commented on how warm it was and that he had seen me play football on days just like this and on some days that would slide down to the other end of the weather scale. This gentleman had brought over several footballs along with other memorabilia he wanted me to autograph. His agenda also included some reminiscing about the “good old days” when the University of Minnesota was a football power (which put us into the Old Testament time period.)
He went on for two hours telling me that even though my first two years had many upperclassmen who were superstars, and all-conference players, the best team was my last year because there were no superstars. I made two observations that day. #1-“reminiscing” was him talking and me listening. #2-He knew his subject and he was right!
Because of the many star players in the two classes ahead of us, we had learned to fill-in the gap and do what needed to be done. This preparation weaned us off the reliance that comes with always expecting the star to pull us out of the tough situations. Instead, we relied on each man doing his part as he had been trained to do, and the results were very gratifying. It’s a worn-out phrase, but true none the less, the “team concept” is the most rewarding way to achieve your goals.
Little did I think I would come across the “superstar concept” when I became active in ministry, but it’s as prevalent in the church as it ever was on the field. It seems many are waiting for the superstar to get the ministry done. Most churches have several people who are very active and do most of the outreach-type ministry. So the attitude develops that there’s no real need for me to get involved. That reliance on somebody else to do it is the reason many churches have such difficulty with a pastoral change or the exit of a leader. We have not prepared ourselves to get in the game. Therefore when the opportunity presents itself, we’re not ready. We have developed a spectator mindset and are content to watch and not participate. I have been both on the field of play and I’ve been in the stands as a spectator
. . . on the field is better.
This is the reason I’m so excited about the new “LifeBuilders” format for the men in the Church of God. This tract or game-plan is designed to first, let each man know where he fits into the “team” approach to ministry and secondly to equip that man to be active in ministry. God never intended for us to watch the race marked out for us but to run that race, and do it with perseverance. If your church does not have an active “LifeBuilders” program for your men, contact the Department of Lay Ministries. Start the process of stepping on the field. Let us know what we can do to assist you in this exciting venture. Remember . . . in the stands or on the field . . . on the field is better. I know! Welcome to the team.