Team or Individual?

Good Friday to You,

Team or Individual… which do you prefer?

Life can be busy.  Schedules are often difficult to coordinate.  So, when I added running to my life (about a year ago), it soon became something I enjoyed doing, alone.  I’ve had an occasional run with Carol Ann or our running group, but usually, running has been my alone time.  Ear buds in.  Podcast on.  Start on Runkeeper.  And off I go… alone!

I’m a bit of an introvert. I really like people, but I also treasure alone time.  So running alone… fine by me!

However, I recently experienced, again, the significant benefits of running with others.  Running with Chris revealed I was sacrificing distance by starting too fast.  Running with Andrew revealed how much easier it is to keep running alongside another person.  Maybe it’s that I don’t want to “lose,” or maybe it’s that he distracted me from the pain by talking so much!

I knew running a relay with friends was much more fun than a marathon alone, but I failed to realize the benefit of regular running (training) with others.  There’s simply something special about doing it “together.”

In Ecclesiastes 4, King Solomon wrote, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.”

True That!

The value of teamwork is something we easily overlook.  Our culture celebrates independence and individualism.  Our oft cited mantras include “my truth” and “what’s right for me.”  We are encouraged to make decisions based solely on perceived personal benefits.  But what if the only way we truly discover what is best for us, the individual, is by looking beyond ourselves?

This weekend, we make the switch.  All summer, we have been considering individuals God used in dramatic ways.  There was one couple:  Abraham and Sarah.  And… there was one trio:  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  But in general, we have been looking all summer at individual followers.  And don’t get me wrong, those stories of God’s power have been inspiring!  But together is better.

Now, we get to see Jesus’ plan for his people… together!  The potential is even greater.  You can get a head start by reading Matthew 16:13-20.  Jesus makes a really bold and exciting promise about US!  What will it look like as we witness Him keeping His promise in our Southern Illinois?

Hope to see you this weekend,


Pastor Michael