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We're Not Playing T-Ball

We're Not Playing T-Ball

T-ball was my favorite sport growing up. We didn’t “officially” keep score, but I certainly did and can I just say, our team was dominant (and yes, I’m aware that bragging about a t-ball team is about as impressive as taking a toddler in a cage match).

As an aside, I have a distinct memory of my mom being pregnant with my sister at the time and vomiting prior to every game. As a result, I was late almost every week. Thankfully I still got my orange slice and Capri Sun after the game, or my coach and I would have had some serious conflict (My coach was also my dad so…).

I loved virtually everything about t-ball, but there was always one thing that bothered me. 

In t-ball, every kid rotated through every position. There would be times when I would catch, stand on the pitcher’s mound (it was t-ball, remember?), play short stop, and jog out to position in centerfield —  all in one game. What bugged me about this was that I wasn’t good at every position and neither was anyone else.

Sadly, many churches have adopted this “t-ball philosophy.” 

But, we aren’t playing t-ball, we’re participating in the building of Jesus’ Church. Many of us believe that simply because we have a passion for a particular ministry we deserve the privilege of serving in that capacity. But, the Scriptures certainly don’t prescribe this. 

  • Throughout the building of the tabernacle, God called for skill in the construction of it (Exodus 36:1).
  • In Psalm 33:3 David says, “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.” 
  • Proverbs 22:29 says, “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”
  • Daniel 6:3 says Daniel “...became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him” (Daniel 6:3). 

Fast forward to the New Testament and we see a similar pattern. Every Christian has been endowed by the Spirit with at least one spiritual gift meant to build up the church (1 Corinthians 14:12). It’s only when we serve within the scope of our God-given giftedness that TOGETHER we make up a healthy church body.

This all means that the Scriptures stress the importance of carefully considering how we construct our teams. We should strive to put our most skilled people in the most strategic positions. 

Mugsy Bogues was an amazing point guard, but he would have been beaten like a piñata if he played power-forward. His skills simply didn’t shine in that position; he was too short and lacked the strength necessary for it. Imagine him posted up in the paint with Shaq or Olajuwon; he wouldn’t stand a chance.

In the same way, the teams we build and tasks we delegate throughout our churches cannot be distributed haphazardly like a t-ball team; we must be more intentional and more faithful to the Scriptures than that.

We’re not playing t-ball, so let’s labor to insure that our most skilled people serve in the most strategic positions. 

(Adapted by Dan Rozga)

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