by Stephanie Olson, Set Me Free Ministries Co-founder
I'm sitting here watching my daughter Tessa play basketball. She really loves the sport and is very good. Tessa is a child who can easily lose her desire or focus when she is not doing what she wants, but boy, oh boy, when it comes to basketball, she is focused and determined and does whatever it takes to be in the game.
As I watch her play, I am reminded of this incredible analogy. I'm sure we have all seen team sports huddles. It's the time during the game when the coach brings the team together to encourage them toward their win. But imagine if you were watching a game and the coach called everyone on the team to the huddle, encouraged them, inspired them, and then the team sat down and no one played. And then, a few minutes later. the coach called the team together for their huddle. Once again, he encouraged them, inspired them, and then the team sat down. What if that happened over and over again, and the team never played?
That is what we are so often like in the Church of Jesus Christ. We gather together in our huddle, called church. We are encouraged, we are inspired, but we never go out and get in the game. Why do we attend church? To receive pats on the back? To hear how amazing we are as Christians? No, we are called to do ministry. Whether you have a pulpit or not, whether you are ministering to hundreds of thousands or to one, whether you are in full-time ministry or a full-time mom. If you are a believer, you have a ministry. And in order to be successful in that ministry, you have to actually play the game.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." That's the Great Commission, and it requires something of us. It requires that we get in the game by leading people to Christ, by ministering to the hurting, by taking care of the poor and needy, by living a life of holiness, by spending time in His Word and prayer, and by honoring and worshiping God on a daily basis.
So, get in the game. The world is watching us play, so play the game well, and others will want to play the game with you. We have a coach who will be with us always! By the way, Tessa just scored a point for her team. That's exactly how I want to play the game.