Monday, February 04, 2008


DAY 5 Winning Edge Devotions

HEB. 10:24 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

One of the many reason I love football is because it is the ultimate team sport. Football requires incredible cooperation and team unity. In 2006 I began to rethink my definitions of ‘success’ and ‘achievement’ and developed the idea that one factor in our success, as a program, is if we grew into a ‘team’. Many of us know the slogans- “There is no I in Team” and T.E.A.M. “ together everyone accomplishes more”- but I want a team to be much more than a slogan. I think all teams are products of growth. A team cannot be made in a moment; it must be developed over a period of time. The fundamental ingredients to becoming a team are love and trust. To the degree that our players and coaches can learn to love each other and trust each other will be the depth of our power as a team. Ultimately a team is characterized by self-sacrifice and a unity of purpose. Selfishness, bitterness, cynicism, apathy, and isolation are team killers. To develop love and trust requires communication, honesty, forgiveness, tolerance, and effort. A great step to love and trust is learning to suffer together.

I can point to important moments when our football teams experienced major moves in developing the team spirit that we so eagerly wait for each season and it usually follows very difficult struggles or failures. Under pressure, we learn who we can rely on. There is very little pretending in times of pain.

Christianity is a team sport. Our need for the team is based on our enemy being the best one on one player in the history of the world. Our Savior beat Satan in the contest in the wilderness, but no one else has survived the encounter. We need each other to make it in this world of danger and pitfalls.

I believe that God’s mystery is designed to bring us together in fellowship. As we struggle with the questions of Scripture and life, we have to spend time together. It is good to hear different experiences and discuss various ideas. It is good to come together, it is dangerous to drift apart.

One of my mentors noted that most men who fall are isolated, without support or accountability. We need to make an honest effort to take time and invest in the relationships that carry us in life. For a man, it will be his spouse and a significant two or three men who are able to challenge, encourage, love, forgive, and support.

The local church provides some of the greatest opportunities to develop these types of relationships. I challenge men to take time and invest time and energy in building quality men’s ministries in their congregations. Find what you and other men like to do and do it together. Through these similar passions, you can begin to love and trust each other enough to begin encouraging one another. When the pressures of life come or when the opponents attack, you have teammates to rely on. They will watch your back! If you have been living life as a lone ranger, please reconsider. Do not forsake coming together with a team. Begin searching today for those you can encourage and grow with.

Father, who comes to my mind as I think of my teammates? Please help me be the kind of person who can play on a team. Begin building that team today!

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