Tonight, I will do something I have never done before. I will watch my beloved Green Bay Packers play live and in person. It is only a preseason game, but I am excited to see them take the field against the hometown Kansas City Chiefs. My family and I have been to Green Bay and taken the Champions Tour of Lambeau Field. We were able to see some of the players work out at OTA’s while we were there that day. There is only one thing we have not been able to do, and that is see them play a real game and tonight may be as close as we get. I am excited as a couple of my boys, and I will be in row 31 behind the bench for all the action.
Tonight is a unique game for some of the players. It is the final preseason game, and some of the guys will be competing for a final spot on the 53-man roster for the season. After tonight, some men will remain a Packer for the season, some will join another team, and some will be done with football. Those few players who make the final cut rarely become superstars. Most of them will become role players in the background of big-name players who dominate the headlines.
Every year I tell my boys the same thing. The team who will win the Superbowl will either be the team that stays healthy or who has the best backup players. This was illustrated dynamically last season when the Philadelphia Eagles won with a backup quarterback who stepped into a high-pressure situation and won. The players who make the squad tonight are called role players because they often have small but essential roles to play.
All this has me thinking about the community we call the Church. I believe that every member is vital to the overall success of Christ’s kingdom in our communities. Some people will step into the spotlight each week like I do as a preacher. There are worship leaders, teachers, and staff who play a prominent role in our community. Honestly, the role players are the ones who make the biggest difference. Those people who step up and do the right thing at the proper time are indispensable. The people who clean, mow, work in the nursery, and greet are often overlooked but play a huge part in the success of a Church. People who see someone they do not know and introduce themselves while nicely talking are vital. The sharing of a smile with a stranger can affect someone for eternity.
I dream of a Church full of superstar players who are the best speakers, leaders, teachers, and workers in the world. But the impact of a Church is not seen in the number of big names who attend but rather in the role players who are willing to do anything for the team. Those often nameless individuals who share the love of Jesus with every encounter. Each individual who is part of a Church has a unique role to play when we do not fill our position the whole team suffers. When everyone knows their role and does their part to the best of their ability, God is glorified, and lives are changed.