Philippians 1:27-28 - "Then, whether I come to see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you."

"Contending as one man" is the Greek word "sunalthountes" and is an athletic term that carries the idea of a joint effort. Only as we (Christians) work together, will we be able to stand firm against opposition and experience victory.

This is not the only place in Scripture where this "team" effort and picture is used. In a related way, Paul uses the human body as another analogy to emphasize working together. The human body is a team of sorts - each part of the body doing what it is good at in a joint effort. If you separate a part of the body from the body - say you sever a finger from the hand (I know. Sounds gross. But work with me here.) Not only is that finger now unable to do anything of any significance and will eventually die, but the entire body is now handicapped and will be unable to accomplish some things.

Use this same thought and apply it to a football team. Remove the Center and not only will the Center not be able to play the game by himself but who will hike the ball? Who will help block the defense and guard the Quarterback? In other words, for the football team to function most efficiently, each player is critical and each player must do their job. Oh, and they must do their job, not the job of another player. You can't have the Right Guard fulfilling the role of the Wide Reciever. There are unique strengths a Right Guard has that a Wide Reciever doesn't and vice versa.

Okay, now apply this to Meadow Spring. We must "contend as one man" - "sunalthountes" - if we are going to experience victory the way God intends. In fact, as we contend as one man, one team, one body - nothing will be impossible for us. Which brings to my mind Jesus' words where He says, "With God, nothing is impossible." I wonder if Jesus didn't have a team effort in mind when He said this. God works through Christians and through the church, but He can't work if Christians and the church are divided.

And no one single person is to do everything. Each person - or team member or part of the body - is to fulfill the role God has uniquely made them to do. God has uniquely made me with the strengths of teaching, leadership, and evangelism. Therefore, that is what I am to be doing as my part of "contending as one man" - as my part of the team and body. God has made others at Meadow with other strengths and they are to fulfill their role with their strengths just as I am to fulfill my role with my strengths.

For those reading this - how did God uniquely make you to be part of the team - the body - the church (and specifically Meadow Spring)? ... showing mercy, empathizing with the hurting, praying, singing, working with children, working with teenagers, financially giving above the tithe, taking care of the details of organization and administration, teaching, etc. However God made you - do that. If you are not fulfilling your role, you are crippling the team - handicapping the body. And we are not able to do and be all God wants us to be.