As those of you who have spent any amount of time around me know, I love sports. I love watching teams perform at the highest of levels and achieving their goals and dreams. In some small way, I am able to FEEL the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” (bonus points if you remember from which television show that originated) with those teams as they both celebrate their victories and suffer their losses. I have often heard coaches and players alike discuss how winning a championship is tough, but that the real challenge comes in repeating…in staying on top of the mountain.
There are a few teams in each major sport who have done just that. Each year they remain as either THE best or one of the best in their respective field. Over the next few days and weeks, I would like to look at some characteristics that these teams possess. These same characteristics will help us be successful in our Life Groups as well as in our student ministry as a whole.
Champions Don’t Quit–Ever! There is something special about championship teams. Regardless of the officiating, the quality of the opposing team, or the score at halftime, champions play until the final whistle or final horn or final out. Champions NEVER quit. This means if they are behind, they keep going. If things don’t go their way, they keep grinding. If the weather is less than ideal, they keep going.
Regardless of the circumstances with which they are faced, champions continue to execute their game plan and continue to fight. They DO NOT quit. They DO NOT give up. This was echoed eloquently by former college basketball coach Jim Valvano in a speech he gave at the ESPY awards in 1993 while battling brain cancer, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”
In order for our Life Groups to be the champions that God desires them to be, those of us who lead must embrace and exemplify this trait. There will be times when “life happens” as we all like to say. Things will be tough. We will have sick family members. We may sleep through an alarm clock sometimes. Other times we may be tired from a hectic week at work.Just like in sports, there will be times when the circumstances are less than ideal. Champions are not made in the ideal times anyway.
Champions are made in the tough times when they respond positively to adversity. Keep following the principles we have provided: keep contacting everyone on your roll, keep loving people and meeting their needs, keep reaching out to new people and inviting them to be a part of your group, keep teaching the Bible, keep following up with guests and prospects, and keep on keeping on. Champions NEVER quit! It is time for the Life Groups of Millington First Baptist Church to become champions. We cannot do it without you! Let’s go be champions today!