Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Church Lessons From The Soccer Pitch

I love soccer. My kids, especially my oldest son, has grown up loving it as well. His soccer season ended this past week, and it has been a hard one for him. There have been some coaching issues that has frustrated him. There has been some lying and deceiving by adults. But at the end of the day, he just wants to walk onto the pitch (that's the official term for the field) and play his position. He wants to do what he does best. He wants to control the ball, dribble, shoot when there's an opportunity, and pass the ball.

This season for him has made me think a lot about the church. One of the problems his team has had is bunching up. This is usually a problem in the lower grades, where everyone wants to go to the ball at the same time. Teammates try to steal the ball from their own teammates. If you have ever watched kindergarten soccer, you know what I am talking about. The problem is that when this sort of thing happens, the team is not successful. Why? Because each of those kids were not designed to play the same position. There are different responsibilities that are needed on the pitch for the game to be played effectively.

Instead of bunching together, the best soccer is played when the players spread out and stay in their positions. Of course, there are times when someone will overlap or slide over to help. But for the most part, a player is responsible for their section of the field.

I have found that the church is not much different.  Each person in the church has been uniquely gifted by the Lord to serve the church. Peter says "as each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace" (1 Pet. 4:10). Paul says that the body of Christ is composed of many members that do not have the same function (Rom. 12:4). Elsewhere, Paul says that the church is not composed of one member, but many (1 Cor. 12:14). This is like saying, not everyone is a forward, there are some defenders.

What does this all mean? Play your part. Play your position. If God has created you to be a servant, then be the best servant you can be. If God has gifted you to be a giver, then give out of His grace. If God has made you to teach, then be the best teacher you can be. But don't bunch up. Spread out and play your position, it will be easier to score and you won't get so tired. But above all, rejoice in your position.
"The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.' On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another." (1 Cor. 12:21-25)
So what if God has created you to be left fullback instead of center forward. That position is crucial to the church. Rejoice in it! Live it!

1 comment:

  1. Good post, Thad. Has the church (Cornerstone) held any "discover your gifts/take-a-gifts-inventory-type" class? If not, are there plans to hold one? (I'm signing up!)


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