Growing up as an active and athletic kid, I was on a number of sports teams. I swam competitively and won many races and one state wide championship in my age class. I skied competitively (slalom and moguls) and was good, but really just ruined my knees after years of pounding abuse and playing tennis in the off winter months didn't help those knees either! Now these sporting activities were individual sports and although I was part of a team, my success was based on my individual efforts for the most part. But then as I got older, I began to play team sports where our collective cooperation as a team was instrumental in achieving "THE WIN". I played softball, volleyball and basketball all through High School , but it was our basketball team in my Senior Year that was unstoppable!
So you are probably wondering why I'm sharing this with you. Because as I read this Chapter in 1st Corinthians 3, versus 5-9 touched me and reminded me of how GOD wants us on his team. The apostles Paul and Apollos were just messengers, or instruments used by the God of all grace. Paul was tasked with planting the seed & Apollos was tasked with watering the seed but they didn't really make the plant grow. The miracle of life does that. But they had to work together - They provided the right environment for growth and trusted in the miracle of life. They each had a role on GOD's team, as I did playing point guard on my High School Basketball team. Paul and Apollos worked together to get the plant to grow, but it was GOD who was very intentional in tasking them to each of their roles but it was GOD who gave the increase.
My High School team won the State Championship in 1977 and it was a big deal! Watching the Warriors win the NBA Championship in June was also a big deal and what struck me when reading this chapter and these verses about the tasks and gifts that GOD gives us, what matters most is how we use these gifts. Being on a team, listening to your coach and working together with your teammates by doing what you are tasked to do within the team, is exactly what GOD wants from us. Some people are frustrated because they want to water when God has called them to plant or they want to plant when GOD has called them to water. Others are frustrated because they want to make the increase happen, when only GOD can do that. Real fruitfulness in ministry happens when we are peacefully content with what GOD has called us to do and if being on his team means ministering Jesus to other people, then we should do just that and when we do......we all win!