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Thinking Aloud - March, 2020

3/2/20 | 2020 Thinking Aloud | by Rev. Dr. W. David Thomas

Thinking Aloud - March, 2020

    Many of us enjoy cheering for our sports team, especially when they do well. 

     After the World Series in 2013 someone wrote of Sox manager John Farrell, “He gets guys to the point where they play for each other.”  After the Pats won the 1997 AFC Championship game, Coach Bill Parcells said with visible emotion, “This is why I coach; you see those kids and there is a bond there that never leaves.”  Coach Bill Belichick has something similar—six times!!!!!!

     Regardless the team or the sport, when they win, the word “team” peppers news articles.  I too have enjoyed the incredible sense of bonding that comes when a group of individuals forego personal desires in order achieve a greater vision together. 

     I remember a group of 11 year old boys who won a softball championship; a handful of college students who produced a weekly paper; five families who built a congregation.  I was privileged to be a part of each and in every case individuals said, “I’ll do what the team needs; the team comes first.”

     This is David Thomas thinking aloud that the Apostle Paul exhorted us to, “accept one another” (Ro 15.7), “build others up” (Ep 4.29), “consider others better than yourself” (Ph 2.3), “forgive whatever grievances you may have” (Col 3.13) and, “make every effort to keep the unity” (Ep 4.3).  These attitudes serve as a foundation to “bonding a team”.

     In the three months we have added new lead pastor and we are bonding a true team.  Individually we are strong, but we want to be a team.  Saying "team" words comes easily; acting like a team requires much more.

     Our First Congregational Church team is bigger than the ministry team.  This past fall we have taken several lay leaders through a reconciliation and team building experience. 

     In the congregational way, you contribute thousands of hours of volunteer time for pastoral care, hospitality, building maintenance and beautification.  Our worship and education teams include musicians and teachers, ushers and greeters, finance wizards and small group leaders.  We have those who “team up” in prayer, give wisdom in counsel, and creativity in ministry.  We are all valued members of the team!!

     Team means that when someone else is upfront, I cheer them on from the wings.  When someone else leads, I happily follow.  When someone else is discouraged, I stand beside them.  When the team makes a decision, I support it!  I work to make others stronger and the team succeed.

     Any success results from working with and supporting others toward a common vision:  We are a congregational church called by God through the Holy Spirit to be disciples of JESUS CHRIST: to proclaim His gospel, to teach His ways, and to reach a lost and hurting world.

     To paraphrase someone else, "It is not about me!  It's about the team achieving our vision."