A Winning Team

Photo by Bk Aguilar on Pexels.com

The recent story of Lake Hamilton, Arkansas boys high school basketball team is exceptional. Senior Andy Tolleson has been the team manager for his entire high school career and he has special needs. Head Coach Scotty Pennington decided to let him dress out as a player on Senior Night and play in his first ever high school basketball game.

Not only did Andy play, but he made 3 three-point shots in the last minute of the game, scoring a total of 9 points. While that is a good story, that’s NOT the most remarkable part. The other team figured out what was happening and encouraged Andy by passing him the ball to let him take these shots. The entire gym – fans, parents and players from both teams were cheering Andy on.

Rebekah Tolleson, Andy’s mom, said, “It makes you want to cry, to see your boy treated in such a loving way.” What did Andy say after the game? “I felt like I could pursue my dreams.” Let that statement sink in. Through both teams’ selflessness, they ignited greater confidence in this young man to believe in his future dreams.

The Way I See It

Teamwork makes the dream work. John Maxwell is credited with this saying. The whole statement goes on, “Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.” Ouch!

The apostle Paul identifies two markers of a healthy team – or healthy church – in 1 Corinthians 3 and 4. 

1. Every member is valued. Whether they are on stage or supporting cast, each church member has a part to play as the church accomplishes its mission. From the youngest to the oldest, the new in Christ and the mature walk of faith, the Sunday morning coffee maker, the toilet cleaner, the soloist, and the volunteer fill-in-the-blank every single person in your local church has a part to play. And they should feel valued, but that’s a different blog.

2. Every member is faithful. It’s not about preferences, what I want or think is best. It’s being faithful to what Christ wants. Pastor, it’s not even about what you think the church should do or which direction it should go. It’s only about where Christ is leading the church. A healthy church has members who can yield their desires if it takes the focus off of what Christ desires.

A church working together, spurring each other on toward the same goal, is a winning team. And the victory is just as sweet, no matter if you’re the parking lot attendant or the personality on stage. Just ask Andy.

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