Discipleship Takes a Team - Are You On It?
We are familiar with sports teams made up of strong, agile, quick-thinking men and women who train hard to win at just a few strategic game events in order to be named the champions for a year.
But what’s really at stake in a sports game? A trophy? bigger salaries and contracts? Bragging rights? What’s the point? Is the point of this achievement to enable the sponsor to make more money selling athletic shoes? Or to recruit better quality coaches, trainers or players that will catapult your team to the top the following year? Who outside the sport remembers ten years from now who won? Yet we all know it can be exhilarating to watch each play and each engagement of teams vying for the win. But when the championship is complete, we go looking for another sporting competition to root for and we carry on with our lives relatively unaffected.
Jesus said, “Follow me.. I will make you.. fishers of men.” Jesus personally paid the contracted debt in order to invite us onto His Team. Jesus is not only a sponsor, he is THE SPONSOR. As a follower of Christ the winning outcome and objective for this team is clear: work to get lives saved and secured in the kingdom. Get more people on the team!
God is the team owner/Creator; Jesus masterminded the playbook and broke the punishing old rules to create a new, personal, relational strategy; and the Holy Spirit is the divine presence living in us to coach us in right-ness every play, every day. The Holy Spirit acts as the Color Commentator, finding and preparing the backstory of people’s lives around us so they can be more receptive to the gospel message and be drawn to Christ. As a person joins the Jesus-Follower team, the Holy Spirit then becomes their coach, helping shape their heart and mind from the inside out just like he does with us.
We are engaged in the game right now.
Our team wins on the field of life - not in the locker room of the church building. The church building is where we celebrate the success on the field and share the covenant renewal ceremony of communion to prepare us to go back out on the field for the next week of discipling innings.
With this sports analogy in mind, Jesus has commissioned us with a framework for game strategy called The Great Commission. There is no other playbook. Jesus summed up and encapsulated that playbook when he said “love God” and “love your neighbor”. And though this sounds simple, it is anything but!
Being on God’s team means we don’t get a practice life to get the hang of how the plays work. We are engaged in the game right now. On and off the field professional sports team members are contracted to represent the best interests of the team. And it is the same for us, we don’t get to sit on the bench and observe. There is never a time or moment when we are not representing Jesus and His team: The Body of Christ.
The GAME of life is on. Big time and in ‘real ‘time. Our championship destination and winning goal is getting as many players onto the team as possible before Jesus returns to set up His kingdom. When the game is over we get to spend an eternity in His presence with all those on the team from all of history since the Garden of Eden - celebrating together.
...today I am playing to win
There is no Plan B, or second round play-offs that determine who wins and loses. There is no alternative play book that is more convenient or comfortable or part-time. We are in this with everything we are and have at His disposal and pleasure to use in furthering our team’s win. At the same time our leader, Jesus, has given us all His authority to accomplish our objective successfully when he gave us our game-plan called the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20.
Do you want to be on the wining team? Are you willing to be all in? Our motto at The Hospitality Table is: Hospitality looks a lot like discipleship. It reminds us that we are playing with eternal, relational purpose around our table, with our neighbors each and every day.
Hospitality looks a lot like discipleship reminds us to be committed to creating an environment where our ‘home’ is functioning on a daily basis as a vital and strategic part of the team.
Each and every day whether in our home, at our work, or involved in our communities we are representing God’s team. There is no detail too small or any person we can overlook or take for granted. All the people God puts around us have potential and purpose so we must engage them.
Hospitality looks a lot like discipleship serves as a reminder that today I am playing to win, I am looking to push into enemy territory and claim back a new convert from our enemy and rival. My goal is the Goal of the Team – be a fisher of men. I am so thankful to be on the winning team. Will you join us? You are most welcome to join us.
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