by Robert C. Frank
Christ’s Team, consisting of all the followers of Jesus, is perhaps the largest team on earth. Christ is its coach, but it is always in need of assistant coaches. Assistant coaches for Christ’s Team are Pastors and Priests. Assistant coaches are mentors who teach by example and provide inspiration and encouragement. Like Jesus Christ, they are servant leaders who train others to become servant leaders.
Christianity appears to be in the early stages of a 21st century reformation. Current teachings and traditions are undergoing unusual scrutiny and that is challenging the faith of the followers of Jesus. In earlier periods, the focus of Christianity was concerned with how to achieve life after death. Christianity, however, has always helped people lead better current lives, so recently the emphasis has been shifted to that part of its teachings, leaving decisions about life after death to God. This will gradually produce a new Christianity that will blossom and grow like the mustard tree mentioned in one of Jesus’ parables.
However, the uncertainty caused by the current challenges to faith practices and teachings has resulted in a reduction in the number of Pastors or Priests being trained in the seminaries. The uncertainty has also caused a decrease in attendance at weekly church services and this has resulted in decreased financial support for Pastors or Priests. When the new Christianity gradually blooms, the need for Pastors or Priests as assistant coaches will increase as well. New churches are being established in China, India, and many African countries. They need the support of the churches in the US and Europe to make Christ’s Team strong. Serving on Christ’s Team continues to be one of the most noble of all human adventures.