Team Work

I enjoyed watching Poplar Springs youth and adults playing frisbee together this past Sunday evening on one of Gardner-Webb University’s fields. Everyone was having an enjoyable time together as two teams squared off for a round of “ultimate frisbee.” They have plenty of room for others to join on Sunday evenings for fun, fellowship, and exercise with our church family – it’s fun to watch, too, even if you are not ready to play!

As I watched, I was reminded of how important teamwork is in the life of the church, modeled by the moves of the frisbee players:

  • “Teamwork” is all about the team working together. Everyone on the field is moving together up and down the field with each player staying in position to field and advance the frisbee. Likewise, in the church, each of us is to remember that wherever we scatter after worship on Sundays, we are in a position to advance the Gospel in our community by our testimony and our ministry to others. (1 Peter 3:15)
  • Ultimate Frisbee is a “non-stop” game. There’s no clock that runs out. There’s no reason for play to be interrupted. When the frisbee changes hands the teams just keep playing in the opposite direction on the field. So, too, for our service in the team we know as “church”. “Church” means the “called out ones” and indicates that we are called out of the world to live as “non-stop” servants of our Lord every day. We always have a mission beyond the church and a ministry within the church. Seasons change in life, sure enough, but service is just who we are and what we do as Christ Followers. (Mark 10:45)
  • Everyone is welcome to play ultimate frisbee on Sundays –adults, youth, children all. I loved seeing the interplay of ages on the field together. There was a place for everyone! I thank God for the Good News of Jesus who reaches to everyone and then calls us to be the “dispensers of grace” he wants us to be as we relate to our neighbors. (Hebrews 13:2)
  • There is a sacrifice to be made in playing frisbee – you can’t walk it or stroll it – you have to run the whole time! That is, exertion of energy is needed! This game asks the players to “leave it all on the field.” Jesus left it all on the field for us, didn’t he? As Heather Poston pointed out in her devotional at Sunday’s deacons meeting: Our calling as Christ Followers is to sacrificial love for others without regard to how they respond. Jesus lived such sacrifice for us and now calls us to such a life as well. (John 13:34)
  • The rules are simple for ultimate frisbee, but they are to be followed! I kept asking the players questions to understand the game: “Why are they counting when in a defensive position?” “Do you get a step after catching it to make a throw?” “When it hits the ground is that a turnover?” The rules of the game are needed for everyone to know what to do on the field. Likewise, Jesus, our Lord, came to show us the ways of the Kingdom of God! Our rule of faith is to follow his lead throughout our days. That is simply put but it is a profound challenge to our lives, and the commitment we made in the waters of baptism. (1 Peter 2:21)

So, thanks, to the Sunday evening frisbee players for encouraging our walk of faith this week! I noticed, too, that when the first game ended they were ready to walk back onto the field after a drink of water! Just like the Poplar Springs Baptist Church family gathers to worship the Lord each week and find refreshment for our hearts in the presence of God and then heads back into our community to work as the Gospel team the church has been called to be! God be with you as serve!

In the Love of Jesus,

Tony Tench