Summary: This sermon focuses upon each person doing their part.
A few years ago a miracle happened in New England. The New England area is noted for disappointments. My Red Sox are still looking for a championship since Babe Ruth. So when the New England Patriots embarked on their new season. Their was little hoopla, but early in the season when marquee quarterback Drew Bledsoe got hurt, rookie quarterback Tom Brady an unknown took over as quarterback. A miracle happened the team began to work together everyone playing his position and victories began to pile up. Enough for them to make to the Super Bowl against the Mighty St. Louis Rams.
The patriots had been in this position before so we all expected a blood shed massacre, but something happened that I believe with the pre game team announcements. Most teams announce their marquee players first and then the others. Similar to the Michael Jordan years. When the announcer basically would say here’s Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. But on this day the announcer said here are the 2001 New England Patriots and to everyone surprise the entire team bounded through the ribbon. As the game unfolded, the Patriots fought hard and eventually won. At the post game interviews the interviews all the player’s comments echoed the same theme: We won because we played as a team:
Let’s shift a gear from the arena of sports to the work of God’s church made up of men and women called by God and equipped by God each with different gifts and talents.
Turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 12 beginning in verse 12
I. Be On the Team- Be connected to the Body- Be active
Each of you sitting here this morning have a choice. A choice to get involved at Sandridge Baptist or Not. A choice to be on the team or not. To be a player not just a spectator. But it really all boils down to your choice.
For many, excuses fly out faster than hands raised high volunteering and getting involved. I just don’t have time? I have nothing to give? When my kids are grown? When this next work project is finished? Or perhaps when so and so quits leading? You name it excuses are a dime a dozen. But each excuse keeps you from being on the team. Keeps the church your church form being all it could possibly be.
Now I’m not here this morning to guilt you or talk you into anything because that may work in the short run it never lasts. This morning I want to appeal to you that this team. Your church needs You and will not be all we can be for Jesus without YOU.
Risk getting involved. Every week there are many different opportunities for you to connect with and on. Check the newsletter, check the bulletin. And connect.
Choose to be on the Team.
Have I got you thinking just a little? But now you are facing a wave of past memories. Well I used to do so and so and it was terrible or I worked so hard for the church I had no time for anything else and I burned myself out. I… You fill in the blank with your own personal memory.
Well hang with me a little longer… Because my response is that perhaps you need to Discover Your own personal Position or gift. The one that God made you to do. The Spiritual gifts that God empowered you to use.
SO Second Discover Your Position, role or gifts.
Listen to I Corinthians 12 verses 4-6
Each of us was given a different kind of gift, for different kinds of service all working under the authority of the same God.
All throughout seminary different teachers and preachers would ask me what my spiritual gift was and my answer was always the same I don’t know. I just do. But as I got older I saw that the areas of ministry that flowed naturally for me were in fact my gifts.
And so what flowed out was not an exhaustive detailed quest but just a reflection about what made areas was I consistently passionate about.
The first area was what they called the gift of the apostle- The gift of vision. The ability to begin new works that had not existed before. The ability to see a community or a church through the eyes of God. It took several years of starting churches, youth groups, college groups, community projects and so on where I saw that this was an area that I was indeed gifted in.
A second area where God showed me was another area of strong gifting was encouragement. The desire to see and believe the best in people. To find the diamond in the rough and through steady encouragement polish and help refine that rock to be a beautiful shining diamond. This gifting is often described as a pastoral gift. I call it the gift of being a coach.