In the fall of 2021, my senior high school son played football for the first time since fourth grade. He had a great season both on the field and off. Judging from the number of stories and the joy with which he shared them, I would guess his favorite part of playing football was the locker room. The stories he told of his teammates’ antics and his description of the talks they had there filled our late fall evenings.
His stories made me think, “What’s the purpose of the locker room?” The locker room is where:
- the players get ready for the game
- finalize any last-minute game plan changes or emphasis
- get taped up to thwart off injuries
- encourage one another and keep each other loose
- team cheer before they head out to the field, court or ice
Not a single game is won or lost in a locker room, but a good locker room culture can bring out the best in the players and cultivate team camaraderie that impacts the play on the field.
Early on in our family’s time at Rockpoint Church, we learned that so many people who call Rockpoint their home are leaders of ministries outside of Rockpoint. It encouraged me that so many strong and faithful leaders come to Rockpoint to be led and fed, so they can in turn lead and feed the flock that God has put under the care of their ministry (1 Peter 5:2). Being around so many leaders inspired me as I received my own call to join a ministry as a local missionary.
Regardless of the content of our vocation or career, Jesus sends us today as he sent out his disciples: As you go, proclaim the Gospel—salvation through Christ alone. We are a team of competitors for Christ. If our field or court is out there, then Rockpoint Church is our locker room.
Our church is where we get ready for the game, review the game plan, prepare for when there may be bumps in the game, encourage each other, and put our collective voices together to rally the team.
Get ready for the game…
Everything we do as a church should equip or prepare us for living out our faith outside the church building. We are led by “coaches” who are living out the Great Commission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20
Go over the game plan…
The scriptures clearly outline God’s game plan for His Church. We meticulously go through the scriptures here at Rockpoint, so that each team member understands God’s playbook. The Lord uses our coaches—pastors and leaders—to reveal more of himself to each team member.
Prepare for when there may be bumps in the game…
Anyone who’s played team sports knows that the team matters most when it hits a skid or starts to slump. When the team knows it’s not at its best, it’s comforting to remember it’s not an individual effort. We can rely on our teammates. In our locker room, the church, we forge those ties. We find willing prayer partners and even fellow players who will get out onto the field with us when we know we’re not functioning at 100% of our capability.
“God has so composed the body…that there be no division in the body, but that members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” 1 Corinthians 12:24-26
Encourage each other
All athletes benefit from the encouragement of others. So do all of us who live our lives on mission—regardless of where our mission field is. Through our church, we’re all members of the same team and are called to lift one another up. I see this happening so often at Rockpoint—in the hallways, at events, in small groups.
“Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together…but encouraging one another…” Hebrews 10:24-25
Final rally cheer
When the disciples followed Jesus, when the shape of their life took on the urgency and attention to the things Jesus taught them, “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” Acts 2:47. This phenomenon occurred in many other instances through the book of Acts.
Brothers and sisters of Rockpoint Church—my fellow teammates we are ready!—we have our game plan, we’re prepared for the ups and downs of this life and calling, we’re encouraged. The Great Commission starts with Jesus’ command to “Go!”
Alright team, our rally cry is clear, all together now on 3…