Lessons from the Warriors

This week was a dream come true…sort of. I’ve enjoyed watching the Golden State Warriors  play basketball since 2015 when they won their first championship. I fell in love with their fast paced style of play, the way they move the ball and how they play “small ball.” The tallest players on their team are 6’ 9.” Though that is almost a foot taller than me, there are bigger players on many other teams. The Warriors make up for their lack of stature with speed and three point shooting. They have two of the top five three point shooters of all time on the team right now: Klay Thompson, who has made more three’s in a game than anyone ever (14) and Stephen Curry who has made more three’s in his career than anyone ever (3,321) and they both still have years of play left in them. Stephen Curry is absolutely my favorite player of all time and has changed the game of basketball with all the three’s and the way he has so much fun on the court. He and the team are a joy to watch, when they’re winning, like they did last year when they became the NBA champions for the fourth time since 2015.

I’ve watched lots of highlights over the years as I hardly ever take the time to watch an entire game. I’ve got four kids, can never have too much time with them and we don’t subscribe to any tv services except for whatever comes with Amazon Prime. But I realized that I would like to watch the Warriors in person, and Oklahoma City might be a nice little get away for my family as they have the nearest NBA team the to us (the OKC Thunder), and the Warriors were coming to town. So my family got some tickets, booked an Air BnB and took a trip.

The night of the game we got there early so we could watch Stephen Curry’s entertaining warmup routine where he did a little soccer, volleyball, quick dribbling, one foot shots, lay ups, jumpers and half court shots. Golden State was well represented and the fans loved it. I even got a picture with him…a selfie of me with the back of his head in the the distance as he signed autographs. What a night! He went on to score 40 point, more than anyone else on either team in the game. That’s probably more than Jordan scored when I saw him play inn Detroit when I was a kid. Stephen was amazing. However, and this is where it wasn’t quite a dream come true, the Warriors got down early and struggled to catch up and keep up throughout the game though they were expected to win. They worked together pretty well on offense but they didn’t gel on defense and they lost the game by nine points.

The simple lesson that sticks out to me from this game is that you can have some of the best talent in the world on your team, some of history’s greatest and yet you won’t succeed if you don’t effectively work together. For teams to thrive everyone has to do their part and look out for each other as well. It takes communication and acting on your training. In the game of basketball mere theory and right answers won’t get you very far. The commentators seem to know what all the players and teams they talk about should be doing but they certainly couldn’t jump on the floor and do the job themselves. It takes putting the knowledge into practice over and over and over again as a team. Stephen Curry can’t play one on five at the NBA level with any success. He needs a strong team to work with him. So do the wonderful leaders we have in our church. 

My simple question is: How well do we work together? We certainly have some superstars who are doing amazing ministries. We definitely have some great teams as well. But just because a ministry was successful last week or last year doesn’t mean it’s keeping pace right now. We must constantly look to Jesus for the next right step. We should regularly evaluate what’s happening, recognize the holes in our efforts and again look to God for the best way to improve so that in everything we do God is glorified and people are able to see Him in us as clearly as possible. This would even include how we trust Him with our weaknesses because even in our weaknesses He can shine (2 For 12:9-10).

It may be easy to think to ourselves how others could improve their lives to represent Christ better, but what if we looked to Jesus to give us insight on ourselves? What lifestyle or ministry might He invite us into? There are endless of opportunities available to serve God and each other. 

Last night in our church board meeting we voted five new positions that we believe would fill important needs in our church and our broader community. The positions are as follows: 

  1. The Homeschool Ministries Coordinator who will help us better support our many members and friends who homeschool.

  2. The Family Discipleship Leader who will focus on helping families grow spiritual practices and conversations at home.

  3. The Disabilities Services Coordinator who will help us better care for those in our community who need special accommodations to participate fully in worship and fellowship.

  4. The Director of Ministry to Public Schools who will help us to best serve and befriend the public schools right down the road from our building.

  5. The Inspire Courses Director who will lead an after school enrichment program in our church for the Monticello Trails Middle School across the street. 

We even have job descriptions available for anyone interested in helping with these ministries. We also have multiple positions that were not filled in our nominating committee last summer including religious liberty, social committee and head elder. If you are interested in any of these position or have recommendations for them please let your pastors know.

The above openings are available and there are even more opportunities besides. If there is a ministry you feel God wants us to have please let us know what it is. We want to support you. 

And finally, every time you show up at the church building or are with any other human being, there is a great opportunity to love and therefore reveal Christ and we are all more blessed when we give unselfishly than when we look for what we can get for ourselves. Let’s be a team where everyone does what God is calling them to do to the best of their ability and let’s support one another because as we know Jesus and are one in Him, we will make Him known together.

May we all pause to prioritize God and His priorities, to seek first His kingdom and trust Him to give us the victory (Matthew 6:33, Joshua 1:9). - Pastor Nick Snell

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