Lesson One • Join the Team
Dr. Randy T. Johnson
Join The Team (JTT) is the opportunity of being part of something bigger than yourself. It is the calling of God to be involved with other believers in serving the Lord. Although it is a high calling, it is still a calling to all believers.
- What teams were you on in school or other?
- What are some positive elements of being part of a team?
We accept Jesus as Savior by faith. However, faith should be followed by actions. We do not serve in order to get to Heaven; we serve as a thank you to God because we are going to Heaven.
- What does it mean to be “saved by faith?”
- What Bible verses support your answer?
God not only calls us to serve, but He also equips us. God has given gifts, talents, skills, and interests to His children.
- Apart from what God has given, what is one of the best gifts you remember receiving from someone?
- What is the greatest compliment you can give someone who gives you a gift?
When we get someone a gift and see them value it, life is good. When children play with the toy instead of the box, the parents feel a sense of pride in a job well done. All too often people choose to store it away or regift it. I can only imagine our thoughts and feelings if we received a gift from someone that we had once given to another. I think it is fair to say that gifts are meant to be used.
One year when I was coaching boys high school varsity soccer, I had four freshmen make the starting line-up. That was very unique. I told them if I was going to coach them for four years that I wanted to show them how God could use what they loved to do for His glory. I took the soccer team to Mexico to frame a church building. The team was fabulous. Several times the missionary told us to take a break because he did not want to finish the project too soon (we could only be in the village as long as we were building). I asked about pulling out a soccer ball to kick around. He denied the request every time. Finally, he got frustrated with me and said, “I don’t know what your view of ministry is, but mine is not to play. By the way, they don’t even know what soccer is.” I pointed out that the children were already playing soccer. He did not notice because they were using a two-liter bottle since they could not afford a real ball. He conceded to five minutes, but only five minutes.
As soon as we pulled out the soccer ball, everyone started yelling for the ball. Surprisingly, men showed up. The missionary had not met the men of the village. The men challenged my guys to a game and invited us to their “field” down by the water. The missionary gave his approval. The game went well. Friendships were created. We were able to share the Gospel with 128 men plus women and children. Many hands went up signifying that they had accepted Christ as their Savior. It was amazing. The boys played well and were invited to play neighboring teams. We even had to take boats to get to an island to play a select team.
We all learned God could use what we love to do for His glory. I ended up making fourteen more trips with students to Mexico. Every time the missionary requested that we play soccer.
- What are some areas of service that are needed in or through the church? Please list at least 30.
- What are some of your interests and how can they be used for God’s glory? (Ask the group for suggestions on how to use your skills and interests.)
As a child, I feared if I gave my life to Jesus that He would send me to Africa to a place that did not even have baseball. Maybe you had similar thoughts. However, I realized that it would not make sense for God to place an interest, skill, talent, and even gift in me that He did not want to use for His glory.
Please grab the tools of your trade and Join the Team. We want you and need you.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10