Almost twenty million Americans have turned on their TV’s this past week to watch the final series of the NBA playoffs.  It’s been fun to join the rest of America in watching an exciting series, though these may very well be the only basketball games I have seen all season.  I don’t think you have to be a big fan of the game or even watch at all to understand this simple truth, the team is better when every player contributes.

As the final series of the season unfolds it seems that teams are much more effective when every player on the court has an opportunity to contribute.  When they have the ball teams are able to create more opportunities and score more efficiently when they pass the ball from teammate to teammate than they are when they give the ball to a single player and hope he creates a shot in isolation.

With that in mind it is disappointing to learn that more and more Americans are doing life in isolation.  Recent studies reveal that in growing numbers we drive to work, live, eat and even go to church by ourselves.

When we think about the mission Jesus gave his church to share his good news with the world, we are most effective when every member of his church contributes.  Our vision for how we will accomplish this mission at Plymouth Avenue is to be a transforming community.  We are able to accomplish so much more for the Lord when we work together!

When God gave Noah instructions to build the ark, the members of his family were the only people on earth living for God and so they were the only ones committed to the work.  Even with every member of the family contributing it took Noah close to a hundred years to accomplish the mission God gave him.

Contrast Noah’s efforts with the work of Nehemiah.  God gave Nehemiah a vision to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem which was no small task.  Archaeologist believe the wall was about two and a half miles long, at least twelve feet high and fifteen feet thick! It would have taken a lifetime or more to accomplish God’s vision if Nehemiah tried to work on his own.  But Nehemiah didn’t work alone.  God stirred the hearts of the people living around Jerusalem to commit their time, energy and efforts to the vision and they built the wall in just fifty-two days!

In the same way, the church is so much more effective when everyone commits time, effort and even finances to accomplishing the vision God has set before us.  We don’t have a hundred years like Noah did to accomplish the mission Jesus gave us.  Let us strengthen our hand for the good work and work together with the fervor and urgency of those who rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem.

We are able to accomplish so much more for the Lord when we work together!

Challenge: Read the names of the those who committed their time, energy and effort to accomplishing God’s vision in Nehemiah 3.

Pray: “God how can you use me with the talents and gifts you have blessed me with to contribute to the work you are doing at Plymouth Avenue Christian Church? How can be part of transforming community?”

Commit: Email us ( or fill out the connect card on Sunday with how you believe God is calling you to contribute to the vision of transforming community.