I by no means am a sports fanatic. I understand sports, I can tell you who I cheer for but that’s about it. But this I do know, on any great team you have a high level of teamwork. You practice together, you eat together, you hang out together. You become a family, your families connect, a superstar who expects to be put be set apart quickly realizes with out his team he will fall. They win together, they lose together. In a great team if one team member is hurting they help pick them up and support them.
Why can’t we as believers, the family of God, be working for that same team mentality? If you look at the early church this is how they lived, Watchmen Nee recognized this when he was reaching people in China and worked to create “team” churches based on the church written about in Acts.
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” But if not, then take one or two others with you and go back to him again, proving everything you say by these witnesses. If he still refuses to listen, then take your case to the church, and if the church’s verdict favors you, but he won’t accept it, then the church should excommunicate him. And I tell you this—whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever you free on earth will be freed in heaven.
I also tell you this—if two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask for, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I will be right there among them.”
Matthew 18:15-20 NIV
As a team of believers, we need to watch out for one another. For far to long we have been focused on building our numbers up but neglecting the foundations of those joining our churches. We see or hear of people sinning and instead of following Jesus direction of dealing with it we use the cop out “not my problem”. We as believers need to make it our concern. It is not only the responsibility of the coach(Pastor) to deal with things that are happening. They are busy enough, we need to start mentoring, loving, connecting with new believers who require much training and direction. We cannot expect them to understand what following Jesus truly means. If I take a new job that I have never done before can it be expected that I know everything about it? No, they would assign someone to be my guide, mentor, showing me the ropes and how things are done. How we do this makes a hugh difference in how it is received.
In today’s world of shaming and everything being open to the public, these verse and teachings Jesus wrote are a tough example to follow. If a pastor/ person in leadership makes a mistake or falls into sin he may not even get a chance to be confronted by a brother and sister in Christ before being raked over the coals.
Accountability is so important. Now a days it would even be wise to have a friend monitor your posts online to ensure that you don’t write/ share/view something that would lead you down the wrong path.
Jesus is very clear in this verse that we need to watch one another back. This isn’t a judgment tone or a shaming attitude, this is ” I love you and notice that your doing this, and that is contradictory to what Jesus teaches, can we talk about it?”
This only works well if you yourself aren’t neck deep in sin, if you are, they may look at you and ask who do you think you are. That’s why Jesus says to make sure your life is right and get the plank out before confronting the brother with the splinter in their eye.
So how can we get our churches to become more We centered instead of Me?
– Get your life right with God, don’t expect others to listen to your advice if your neck deep in sin.
- Connect with the team, family. This isn’t going to church on Sunday. This is genuinely loving one another, investing yourself in their lives, becoming valuable to them.
– Don’t be afraid to confront another believer if they are sinning. This isn’t a judgemental thing, it is about love.
– Look out for each other. There are those in the church who will distract young believers from moving forward, they may even cause them to fall. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment in the motives of those who aim to distract.
Dear Jesus, forgive us for our Me attitudes. We need to be more of a team in our churches, show us where we need to grow in these areas. Help us to connect with one another on a whole new level. Let us become a family that is supportive of one another and pushes each other to grow in our walk with you. Lead us to mentor and disciple new believers so they will grow stronger in the faith and can discern the things that would distract them from knowing you. Let us work together to strengthen the family of believers and be a church welcoming to those new in the faith. Amen