Every now and then I will reference the 1992 sports movie The Mighty Ducks when talking about churches. Not because it is my favorite movie (or even a good movie) but because there is a lesson or two in there for those of us who are a part of a local church.
Let me refresh our collective memories. In the movie, the Mighty Ducks were a rag tag bunch of kids on a hockey team with a less than superstar coach. The team bonded together to overcome the odds and win. The key to their turnaround was that they found a play that worked for them. They discovered the Flying V formation and it was the key to their success.
Here is where this all applies to churches. Sometimes we can get caught up in wishing a certain type of person or group would attend our church or get involved or become the pastor or a leader or whatever. We wait for a “superstar” to walk in the building and turn everything around. And we wait. And we wait. We don’t do anything because we “need” the superstar, and it becomes an excuse for inactivity and inattention to the work of the Kingdom.
But God has already given us His team. We need to focus on that and work with them to be the church we were created and called to be. So pastors – that’s your team. Don’t lead the ideal church you picture in your head. Lead the real church right in front of you. Parishioners – that’s your team. Stop comparing them to other teams and work with them to accomplish the work God has called you to.
Each church needs to find its “Flying V”. That would be the thing God has for you to do. That would be the reason you exist. Your church is where it is for a God given reason. Prayerfully discern together who God has called you to love and serve and how He wants you to take responsibility for your community. Then do that. Not having a play will ensure your team doesn’t reach God’s goals.
The “Flying V” works best when everyone does their part. You (yes you – not them or that person or whoever you are thinking this is a good idea for). You have a part to play in this game plan God is putting together for your church. You have not “done your time”, you are not “too new” or “too young” or “too old” or “too tall” or whatever excuse you are using, this is not just the pastors job or only for the board. God has placed you on that team for a reason, with a position to play. Please play it. The team and the Kingdom lose if we don’t play our positions.
Be a good teammate. Support the rest of your team as they play their position even if they don’t play the way you would. Pray for your teammates, encourage one another, and work towards unity. If there are teammates you need to make peace with, please do it. If there is forgiveness you need to extend or ask for, please do it. That would cheer the heart of your Father. And it will help your team be more effective.
Have fun and celebrate. The game God has us in can be difficult for sure, but there are victories. God is doing all kinds of amazing things around you. Take time to notice and celebrate what He is up to.
We do forget that God has brought us together as His people and that He has us where He has us (as individuals and as a team) on purpose. Let’s pay attention to what our Heavenly Coach is asking us to do. Let’s play the way He wants us to play, and let’s watch the victories He brings our way.
Director of Leadership Development, the Free Methodist Church in Canada