Be part of the Team
Church can be an amazing thing when it happens the way God intends. A diverse group of people, with the same leader (Jesus), a shared purpose (to live for him), committed to each other in love, who laugh and weep, joke and mourn, share life’s ups and downs, and are there for each other when it counts.
Who wouldn’t want to be part of a community like this? It’s not surprising we see pictures of it in films we love
Think of ‘fellowship of the ring’- A diverse group of people, with the same leader, a shared (epic) purpose, committed to each other in love, who laugh and weep, joke and mourn, share life’s ups and downs, and are there for each other when it counts. It’s epic. It’s heartwarming. And it makes us hungry for the same.
Or if fantasy isn’t your thing, what about ‘Coach Carter’? He takes a rowdy, rude disrespectful group of teenagers in a basketball team, brings them together, instils a new sense of commitment and purpose, and through some significant bumps in the road, leads them to victory. That is the story of Jesus and the church! We’re the ‘rowdy rude disrespectful’ group. Jesus is the leader. He forgives us, brings us together, and calls us into a team who through persevering commitment go on to victory with Jesus together.
We love those kinds of stories, because we long to be part of that kind of story ourselves. Which is why we all need to realise, perhaps with surprise but hopefully also with excitement, that as followers of Jesus we are part of this kind of story. Here’s one way that the Bible puts it:
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
Local church might not seem as epic as Lord of the Rings, or as feelgood as Coach Carter. But in reality those films are only a faint reflection of the true story of Jesus and his church. A story we are included in when we trust in Him.
Which is why the Bible is full of encouragements to play our part in God’s story of Jesus and his church. To get involved. To use your gifts to serve your brothers and sisters. To be there, in the thick of the community, building relationships, sharing life, growing faith. Church feels more and more as it should be, when more and more of us start living out the epic vision God gives us. We’re part of the fellowship. We’re part of the team. There’s work to be done, a purpose to be fulfilled, and you’re right there, playing your part.