Under Construction: The Crew
Our February theme at OCCS is "Under Construction: The Crew." This month, Pastor Tim Breen reflects on what it looks like to be part of God's crew.
|4th grade "crew"|
In the fifteen years since God has called me to be a pastor, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in a number of large-group work projects. I’ve been part of teams that have done relief work after the Louisiana hurricanes. I’ve led crews in inner-city repair initiatives. I’ve chaplained for large youth ventures painting homes in Tennessee.
The closing moments of those events are always special times. People have bonded over a hard week of work. There are new inside jokes about spilled spackle and cracked plywood. New friends swap cell phone numbers and Snapchat usernames. Lots of hugs are exchanged.
What I’ve witnessed in those wrap-up times is that the biggest accomplishments are rarely the work done by the crew; what matters more is the work that’s been done on the crew.
Workers are different by the end of the week. They’ve grown together as a result of teaming up to serve others. Even as building has been done by the participants, the participants have been built themselves. This is exactly what Paul encourages the Thessalonians to be about.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Why is there so much delight in being part of a crew? I think it’s because several core Biblical ideas are operating in well-functioning crews:
First, teams of passionate, like-minded individuals reflect the character of God. Jesus prays that his followers may be one as he and his Father are one (John 17:22). We serve and worship a triune God–a three-personed community. Together, the Father, Son, and Spirit have been eternally acting in love and partnership together. When Christians lovingly work as a unit, they mirror the nature of God.
Second, crews of Christians practice accountability. On our own, we make mistakes. We have shortcomings. We possess blind spots. We need fellow team members to check our work and to speak honestly into our lives. This is one of the great joys of being a OCCS parent; I know that other believers are correcting, training, and encouraging my children to be like the great Crew Chief, Jesus Christ.
Finally, groups of united believers are stronger because they represent and deploy a wide variety of spiritual gifts, ministry passions, and necessary abilities. The best crews are comprised of individuals with unique and valuable skills: A center, a guard, and a forward. An electrician, a carpenter, a plumber. A surgeon, an anesthetist, a nurse.
Together, followers of Jesus using their God-given abilities are prepared to meet a broad spectrum of needs and to provide a compelling Christian witness of unity, grace, and hope. They can construct more and better, even as they are being built by the Architect himself.
Rev. Tim Breen
Pastor at First Reformed Church, Orange City
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