If you look at the Cleveland Caviler’s roster this season it seems clear that they are built to absolutely dominate the competition. They have LeBron James, who is in the argument for being the greatest player of all time. Add to that all-star players Kyrie Irving (4x’s), Kevin Love (4x’s), Deron Williams (3x’s), and Kyle Korver (1x), and they should be winning virtually every game. Yet, they rank only 5th in the NBA. Now, thats obviously still a solid season, but certainly less then expected out of a team with so much talent. There has been substantial in-fighting within the team, leading one expert to assert that a “volatile, dangerous situation” exists in the locker-room. Indeed, the Cavalier’s biggest obstacle to an NBA Championship this season may not be another team, but rather themselves.
Unfortunately, I see a parallel here with God’s family, the church. God has built us to be successful. He has gifted us with the gifts and talents needed to reach the nations, train disciples, and improve our world. He has given us scripture as a guide, and the Holy Spirit to make it come alive. He has given us a direct line to Him (prayer), and the Spirit to inspire and lead us. Most importantly, He even suffered and died to save us forever. Yet, with all those amazing advantages and resources, the church struggles. The percent of our country that is professing Christian is at an all-time low, as is church attendance. One recent study even found that 80% of churches are experiencing decline. All of these amazing resources are at our disposal, an yet the church struggles.
I would argue that a MAJOR reason the church struggles is that, like the Cavaliers, is that we spend so much time fighting ourselves. I can hardly log onto social media without seeing a post arguing against some aspect of the church (often worship and politics). We fight over seemingly everything: theology, baptism, music, furniture, leadership styles, the list could go on for pages. Instead of fully harnessing the amazing resources God has given us, we spend a disproportionate percentage fighting ourselves. This is certainly not a new problem. The Apostle Paul addressed this in his letter to a church in Corinth:
Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. 1 Corinthians 1:10-12
Here’s the key phrase to etch into our minds: that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. Friends, we will NEVER agree on everything. We many not even agree on most things. But we should ALWAYS agree that Jesus is Lord and that the whole world needs to hear that news. Let’s stop wasting all God has given us fighting against one another, and begin working together for God’s glory on Earth and in Heaven.