A church is different to any other group of people. It is meant to be a group of spiritually-related people who are co-operative and organised. Just like a football team, a church requires people who perform different functions simultaneously in order to achieve their common goal. In a football team there are those who initially get the ball moving. These are usually the big guys. They can’t run, duck and weave, like the smaller guys, but they sure can jump high and get things moving! Then there’s the smaller guys who get fed the ball by the big guys- boy! they can run! They get the ball to the mid-fielders who know how to jostle with their opponent and get around them to pass the ball to the forwards. It’s the forwards who know how to kick goals. Then there’s the defensive members of the team whose job is to get the ball off the other side and prevent them from kicking goals.
The church is made up of people who are gifted to get things moving. There are others who are able to keep things moving: servant-hearted people who know what “hard work” means. They serve as deacons, ushers, hosts, follow-up counsellors, visitation helpers, cleaners, gardeners, or door-greeters. Then there are those who are like “wingers”. They play near the side boundary with an aim to get the ball into the middle of the field toward their goal. In the church there are evangelists who are like wingers. They roam the boundaries looking for lost souls to bring into the centre of God’s Kingdom. They are bold. They gossip the Gospel. They scheme salvation of souls. They pray for sinners to be converted. They don’t care for the limelight but they long for the light of the Lord to shine in the darkness of people’s minds and souls. When the ball gets near the goal, the player with the ball is often “shepherded” by his team-mates. In the church, we each shepherd each other by protecting each other with prayer, encouragement, and practical provisions. The church that is functioning as a well-organised and co-operative team is more likely to be a growing, healthy church.