I was a young teenager when I started following the great British football team named Manchester United. As I think back as to why I started supporting such a team I recall that it was because I liked their name! Manchester United … well it had a ring to it! I liked the idea of a football team being united in its bid to win as many games as it could. At that early age I was taught the importance of playing together as a team. We were taught to play to each other’s strengths. We were to help our team members when they were struggling. We were taught to be ‘united’ and we were. We went on to be a team that were never beaten for over three years! It was a simple formula … a simple but powerful game plan … and it worked. We kept our focus on scoring as many goals as we could by being a team that was united in all it did whether at practice or on the field of play. And we scored hundreds of goals over those three years!
Focused and united … this is what Paul is trying to teach the church in Corinth that had somehow gone down the slippery slope in becoming a divided and fractious church. It can happen so easily when a church takes its eyes off what is central and of supreme importance. Paul directs the attention of the Christians to the power of the cross of Jesus. They were caught up in all sorts of debate as to who they should follow and had lost their first love. In time, the church members fell into a host of sins as the centrality of the cross of Christ was glossed over and became unimportant. This is a great danger for any church.
All churches need to constantly examine themselves as to the pre-eminence of the cross of Christ and Jesus crucified in all they do. Too often the church slips into a holding pattern of maintenance … maintaining the status quo and forgetting about why and who Jesus died for. Jesus left us with the great commission to go and tell people of all nations the good news. I am therefore greatly encouraged with the numbers of people coming to Mainly Music and where they are coming from. God is answering our prayers as we strategically take the gospel to those people He has brought into our community!