Baseball season is finally here. Spring training has begun and opening day is not too far around the corner. There is one central principle that is obvious in the game of baseball: TEAMWORK. Although there are nine players on the field, none work individually. This teamwork can be seen between the coach and the player, teaching the fundamentals of the game. Teamwork can be seen between the catcher and pitcher, selecting the right pitch to get the batter out. Teamwork can be seen between the shortstop and the second baseman working together to turn a double play at first base. If any one player decided to play all the positions by himself, the TEAM would fall apart and lose. A baseball team exhibits the precious quality of unity.
There is a parallel between a baseball team and the church. In the local church, the Lord has brought together diverse people for one common goal. The goal of the church, simply, is to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world in which we live. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Paul made a reference to being “perfectly joined together”. As a New Testament church, we are to be working together in all that we do. We are to be perfectly joined together. Paul tells us that the results of being joined together will be that we will speak the same things, be free of divisions, and have the same things in mind.
Remember the baseball team? Individual players with specific talents come together to contribute and share their talent with the team. The coach then determines where that talent will be best used for the greater good of the team. In the same way, the Lord has brought individuals together to be part of a team. Each person is gifted uniquely. The Holy Spirit places each one in the area of service that best suits their gifts and talents. When we pull together as a TEAM, and us our gifts and talents for the greater good of the church, we all win.
I have heard coaches say there is one main point to remember in the game of baseball. That point is that you win as a team and you lose as a team. As a pastor, I believe the same thing is true in the church. We will have battles from time to time. We may have periods of ups and downs. The thing to remember is this. Whatever we do, if we work TOGETHER, and commit to remain TOGETHER, we will be victorious.