Friday, September 27, 2013

September 30, 2013 - Success "E"ssentials: Esprit de Corps

The past three weeks were part of a short series on what I see as some of the “E”ssentials of true success – victorious living… (things like Execution of the game plan; Ethics; Effort; and Esprit de Corps…). Here is the basic intro again to this series:

“I recently had a discussion with my pastor and he asked me a basic question: “How do you define success or victory in the Christian life? –or- “What does a mature Christian look like?”

That is a loaded question because there are so many things talked about in Scripture on what a victorious / mature believer looks like. Yet many of those things are subjective instead of objective (things that don’t necessarily show up on life’s scoreboard.) I think that is why often churches get caught up in the legalism of defining success as “not participating in the works of the flesh.” That is easier to gauge than things like the fruit of the Spirit, etc.

In sports we tend to look at won-loss records for a season or the scoreboard for a game; yet I have never defined success that way for the teams I coached. (Of course some might say it is because I didn’t often see the positive side of the scoreboard or the win-loss column…)

In all honesty I can say there were times my teams won on the scoreboard yet I didn’t feel victorious; and there were times we lost on the scoreboard but I was beaming with pride! And in all honesty I can say that there have been times in life where I appeared to be “winning” and didn’t feel victorious; and times I appeared to be “losing” but felt incredible pride and contentment in knowing my Lord was pleased…

After all the goal of a minister is to present believers as complete or mature in their walks… (Colossians 1:28)”

This week: Esprit de Corps - feelings of loyalty, enthusiasm, and devotion to a group among people who are members of the group…

I know we hear it often that teamwork is the key to success; and I have written often about this topic over the years. Yet if I am going to talk about the “E”ssentials of success it has to be there…

A while back I wrote about a discussion I had with a former NFL Super Bowl champion that acknowledged that his team was not necessarily the most talented team but that they were truly a “team.” He then talked about how the fame and riches of winning changed many of the players’ attitudes and they were not as good.

The fact is that the strongest teams have a group focused on the same goal more than on individual desires and accomplishments. And for the church body the same is true…

We need believers committed to the proclamation of the Gospel of Grace to a lost and dying world; and we need believers committed to not focusing on the mode of transmission of that message. (Paul said he simply rejoiced when Christ was being preached in spite of the preacher’s motivation. See Philippians 1:15-18)

I just read the idea of Esprit de Corps written this way by Coach Ron Bishop, the founder of SCORE International: Our focus is on TEAMWORK and KINGDOM Mindedness! Everyone is coming together to set aside personal agendas, ownership of ministries, and individualism to the "greater good" of His kingdom work. Our goal is to keep EVERY ministry focused on HIS Person and NOT on the personality of individuals…”

I think this is evidenced in one’s attitude toward authority, toward his peers, and toward those below him. Some of my favorite Esprit de Corps verses are Philipiians 2:1-4 – read it, learn it, live it!

1 comment:

Jonathan Morrow said...

Great read! And exactly what I have been teaching on this past week! Love how God works! And definitely praying for a great trip!