The Front Of The Jersey

September 25, 2012

Coaches are known to remind their teams that ‘the name on the front of the Jersey is way more important than the one on the back.’

I recently ran across the convicting article below in my ‘Young Life files.’ I’m not aware of who wrote it, but please comment if you know. It’s a needed reminder at the year’s beginning of the value and purpose of functioning as a Young Life team.

Jesus And Team Ministry

Just as Jesus is the example in our incarnational approach to ministry in Young Life, He is our example in terms of a team ministry. 

Jesus gathered people around Him for a purpose. “He appointed twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.” Mark 3:14

It was the pattern of His life to do ministry together, surrounded by the disciples, and not in isolation, nor out doing it by Himself.

Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs. He instructed them to share their life and ministry together. He even said that it was through our relationships with each other that others would believe in Him. (John 13 and John 17)

Team ministry is our example of how the body of Christ is supposed to function. Look at 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. For a physical body to be healthy and complete, it must have all of its parts. God desires and requires diversity in the body. Therefore, the team ministry consists of:

  • Different personalities- to relate to different kids
  • Different abilities/gifts- to complete different tasks.
  • Different viewpoints- to expand the horizons of ministry.
  • Different sensitivities- to be aware of different needs.

Team ministry provides a platform for demonstrating to the unbelieving world just who Christ is, and who we are in Christ. John 13:34-35

Team ministry is our opportunity to demonstrate to kids in our high school what the new life in Christ is all about. As they observe us, they begin to see people whose lives and relationships with each other reflect Jesus Christ. 

The important point here is that how we relate to the other folks on our team really matters. Chuck Miller has said that, “it is important to be the people of God before we begin to do the work of God.”

A key responsibility before Christ, for all of us, is to be growing in our relationships as a brother or sister to those on our Young Life team. No ‘program’ can ensure that this will happen. It is a matter of doing all that Scripture has said about our relationships with each other. Loving each other, praying for each other, serving each other, regarding one another as more important than ourselves- all are very important. 

And together, we are stronger. When one is down or discouraged, another can help pull them up. We can pray for each other, be authentic with each other, and carry each other’s burdens. Serving within the context of a team provides a structure to protect us from despair, discouragement, loss of perspective, and falling.

  • What would a team look like if each member was functioning solo?
  • What would a team look like if each member was functioning as a part of the body?
  • What will your team look like this year?
  • What responsibility will you carry for this?
  • What will it take to make your team function as the Body of Christ?

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