Are We Being Competitive Or Cooperative?

by | Sep 27, 2011 | Church Leadership, Church Planting

The NFL season is back, and I attended the inaugural game Thursday night, September 8, when the Green Bay Packers hosted the New Orleans Saints.  Our family has had season tickets at Lambeau Field forever.  I saw something during that game, and maybe you did, too, that reminded me of the collegiality we need to share in the body of Christ, especially as church planters.  Packers rookie Randall Cobb returned a kickoff for an NFL record 108 yards.  He broke the team rule by coming out of the endzone when the ball was so deep, but in the process he set a record and scored a touchdown.

If you haven’t seen the return, here’s a short clip:

It shows something fascinating.  Cobb was spun about by the Saints cover team, and he was about to hit the ground near the 20-yard line.  But a teammate came alongside and held him up long enough to stay on his feet and complete the run.  You don’t need to be a Packers fan to appreciate the performance.  After the game, Randall Cobb, a Christ-follower, was quick to point his finger toward his teammate who kept him on his feet.

Years ago, when I was planting a church, there was another church planter in our denomination and region who started about the same time as we did.  Somehow we became competitive.  I know we were younger and less mature, but I do know that something got between us and we became competitive.  One day we finally acknowledged that, and we talked about Romans 12: 15:  “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”  My colleague and I admitted that we had difficulty rejoicing over one another’s successes, and we even may have rejoiced at each others’ pain.  Isn’t that pathetic?  I mean, I know it’s human, but it’s pathetic.  Our relationship healed, and we became true friends and colleagues.

We’re teammates.  We need to keep each other on our feet and cheer one another on toward victory.  I know we all know that, but I thought it would be good to remind ourselves of that.  God bless you!

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Tom Nebel

Dr. Tom Nebel is the Director of Church Planting for Converge Worldwide (formerly the Baptist General Conference), a position he accepted in 2006. Prior to that (1992-2005) he served as Director of Church Planting for the Great Lakes Baptist Conference and Associate Director of TeAmerica. He has participated in the planting of more than 50 churches in Wisconsin and hundreds of churches across the United States, currently experiencing a success rate of over 85%. His passion is to fuel regional church planting movements so that they may be effective in expanding the Kingdom of God. Read More About Tom Nebel At His Author Page. Also be sure to follow Converge Church Planting on Twitter & Facebook.