This past weekend, my kids started their baseball leagues. Both of them are really getting a hold of the concepts of the game and Noah is even watching some Tigers with me. Did I mention that baseball has become my favorite sport? Baseball is a lot like church as well. At any one game, there are several people: the owners, the coaches, the crowd, and the players.
The owners are like the larger denomination. A healthy organization, no matter what it is, is healthy when the owners and upper management has the mentality of service. This is also when these people realize that the whole organism does not exist to keep them happy, but they are also a part of the team and they serve the coaches and players.
The coaches are like the pastoral staff at a church. They too have a servants mindset. They serve the players as well as the owners / management. Here again, the organism does not exist for them.
The players are the church family. They are the people on the field making the plays and on the front lines of the organism. The players are right in the action all the time. The players also have a role and position to play (think spiritual gifts and the Body of Christ). The players are also the ones who are learning the most by making not so great plays and making sure it doesn’t happen again.
Then you have the crowd. The crowd is the most critical of the other people (owners / management, the coaches, and the players). The crowd are the loudest at the game. They are the ones who are cheering the most and also the ones who boo the loudest. Unfortunately, most church churches have the crowd who are not a part of the game. The challenge is to get involved and play and learn and run and be on the front lines. Getting out of the crowd and into the game, there is more fulfillment and excitement as well as the most growth. The reality is that all of us, sit in the crowd al the time.
So, trust Jesus and get into the game and be used. Be bold and share Jesus with others around you. You will be amazed at what the Lord will do in and through you when you do.