This past weekend the San Antonio Spurs played the Golden State Warriors in one of the most highly anticipated regular season basketball games in history. Both teams are having record seasons and San Antonio lost the first meeting of the two teams by 30 points! Something was going to have to change for the Spurs to avoid the same outcome.
During pregame warm-ups, San Antonio’s coach Popovich shared that Tim Duncan would not be starting the game. Understand the context here: Tim Duncan is the Spurs. He is the greatest power forward of all time, has 5 world championships with the Spurs, has been the heart and soul of the team and has only missed 2 previous starts in his long, All Star career. Tim wasn’t injured, Pop just felt like the Spurs needed to change some things and make a few adjustments to win the game.
“He’s such a great person,” teammate LaMarcus Aldridge said of Duncan. “He didn’t pout; he was very positive. He was talking to me. I don’t know if many guys in that position would have handled it as well as he did.”
That’s a picture of humility and understanding the big picture: It’s not about Tim Duncan, it’s about winning the game. And that’s what happened…the Spurs won the game!
So you might be asking, what does this have to do with the church? Well, let me tell you. We play in a much bigger game, the game of life, and the outcomes aren’t championships, but people’s eternity. Sometime as church leaders make adjustments or change the way things have always been done, those who have been there the longest, or feel like they have invested the most are the least positive and they lose sight of the big picture: It’s not about you or me, it’s about doing whatever it takes as a team (or in this case the church) to win the game!
As we look around our city, our country, and our world, people need the hope and love that Jesus Christ offers. God’s tool for making this happen is the church. Unfortunately on many fronts, the church is losing because they refuse, or people in the church refuse to “take one for the team”. What’s the old saying, “there’s no I in TEAM”?
So if you’ve ever wanted to be like Tim Duncan, and you are part of a church, here is your chance. Be like Tim, or better yet, be like Jesus. Understand the big picture and be willing to adjust, change, or even come off the bench if that’s what the coach asks and it helps the team win!