Summary: How God’s power is engaged through servanthood and lay ministry.
GETTING IN THE GAME! Pt 4 – ‘When Everybody Plays Their Position’ 6.22.03
Well, today we wrap up the series we began 4 weeks ago, called “Getting In The Game!” Here’s what we’ve covered so far:
Part one: ‘The Heart of a Team Member’
Part two: ‘Out of The Stands and Onto The Field’
Part three: ‘Leaving It All On The Field’
Part four – today: ‘When Everybody Plays Their Position’
30years ago, the Miami Dolphins embarked on an unforgettable & unparalleled season. 14-0 regular season, then a 3-0 run through the playoffs culminating with a Super Bowl victory. No other team has matched that perfect record. Every year 30-some odd teams try, but for 3 decades, it stands alone. Sports enthusiasts all have their own opinion about who might be the “Greatest Team of All Time”, but one of the 1972 Dolphin team members put it best: “Perfection has a way of shutting peoples mouths.”
The opposing coach going into the’72 Super Bowl was asked 2 comment on stellar Miami defense. "I cant recall any of their names," he said, "but they are a matter of great concern to us." Who knows the nickname of the ’72 Dolphins Defense? The "No-Name Defense."
What made that team special was not the handful of superstars – it was the dedication of every team member. The willingness of every player to execute his position with excellence for a common purpose. Something special happens when everybody plays their position. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. They had some great players, no doubt. But plenty of other teams over history have had better personnel. More Pro-Bowl players, superstars, Hall of Famers. Yet no team has reached level of achievement that they did.
What would have happened if 3 players on that Dolphin offense decided they didn’t matter that much? In the huddle, they call a sweep to the right with Mercury Morris running the ball. But after the ball is snapped, Larry Little, Jim Langer & Norm Evans decided that blocking wasn’t all that important. They just stood there saying, “I ain’t doing that. They’re just gonna knock him over eventually anyway– why even make the effort?’ Is that the mindset that took them to Super Bowl? No.
What if 9 different people wanted to play running back? “If I don’t play running back, then I’m not important. Guards never make the highlight reels, so forget it.” Is that the mindset that took them to the Super Bowl?
Well, the world of sports isn’t the only place where “Positional Confusion” can take place. It happens everywhere, and it happens in the church. The positions and roles in the Kingdom are more varied and more critical than any game any day, anywhere. The church is chock full of people who are uniquely gifted for the position that God has called them to play. So when God taps u on the shoulder to send you into the game, chances are you’ll probably say to yourself, ‘With God’s help, sure, I can do that.’ It doesn’t have to seem off-the-charts miraculous or inherently super-spiritual. But don’t kid yourself. God’s call is just as certain to those roles, as to any other.
Being called by God to serve in the Kingdom encompasses far more than just teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, or being missionary. The possibilities are endless. There’s always vision, there’s always need. Some think all the ‘other areas’ are trivial. Couldn’t be further from the truth. Some think, ‘Well, I just serve cookies in the guest reception.’ Well, you know what? U don’t ‘just’ do anything! The enemy would love for you to think that what you bring to the table isn’t important. All of Hell is dead set on keeping you from the truth about how valuable and indispensable you are to Gods plan in this place. The thruth is that you have an opportunity to impact eternity in ways you hadn’t considered. So don’t fall for the lie.
There’s an interesting look at this subject in scripture. It shows just how significant it is when volunteers “get in the game” and begin to work for the greater good of the kingdom.
Acts 6:1-7 rd “So the Word of God spread.” Why? Why did the Word of God spread? Because they preached better? Because they finally sang the songs I like? Why did the word of God spread?
Because people did what they were wired up to do. Gods plan was executed because spectators became players – because people got out of stands, onto the field, found their position.
They took the abilities God gave them, and used them for eternal purposes. ‘the number of disciples increased rapidly.’ Lost people came to faith because believers stepped up and got in the game. Souls went to heaven, because believers served food! God is amazing.