“The church we read about in the New Testament was not made strong by the celebrity of an individual, superstar preacher. It was made strong by the powerful walk with God of each individual Christian. The collective power of these individual walks with God made the early church a transformative force in the world”
Russ Ewell, When God Isn’t Attractive
The beauty of collective power has never been displayed more effectively than when God built the 1st century church. The church took the life-changing inspiration of the resurrection and with ordinary men, changed the world for good. No group since has done more, without celebrity or superstars, to radically change the world. We need to believe in the beauty of collective power, that our contribution makes a difference. To see examples of collective power today, we can look at this years Superbowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles were this season’s perennial underdogs placing last in their division the previous year. How does a team go from the last place to Super Bowl Champions? What changed? Who were the difference makers? In order for the New Testament church to have made its impact, every individual had to believe they were stronger as a group, not individually, this strength comes from the power of God.
14 After reviewing this, I stood up and said to the officials, the officers, and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them! Remember that the Lord is great and awesome! Fight for your families, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses!”
This Scripture teaches us a timeless lesson: Extraordinary change comes about and is multiplied through a collective effort, not an individual stand out. The New Testament church changed the world together in this way. This is the beauty of collective power as change is not centered on a single ripple, but by the collective force of hundreds of ripples coming together in unison to produce an awe-inspiring wave of impact. When every Christian believes this, we find ways to persevere through obstacles we never thought were possible. Not because we’re awesome, but because of our teammates helping us. This was something the Eagles did very well.
But I do manage to catch Pederson’s most poignant moment, near the end when he hoists the trophy into the air and shouts, “An individual can make a difference …” and the locker room finishes his sentence by yelling back to him, “… but a team can make a miracle!”
It’s important to understand that in order to replicate the collective success the Eagles and Israelites each experienced, we must believe that the team is greater than the individual.
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
The bible teaches us an important lesson, we all need a team in order to produce the type of change in the world like the New Testament church did. Why is this important? Changing the world doesn’t happen by listening to someone speak every Sunday morning, no. It happens when we believe we’re meant to do something bigger in our lives, when our relationship with God is so attractive, it inspires others to seek Him. When every Christian believes this, we find ways to persevere through obstacles we never thought were possible. Not because we’re awesome, but because of our teammates helping us. This was something the Eagles did very well.
“It hasn’t really sunk in, but I’m so excited for that locker room,” Pederson said. “For Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie to give me this opportunity to coach this team, and then everything that we’ve been through this season, to get to this point — a lot of people counted us out — but that locker room believed, believed in each other, believed in me. I have a great staff and great players, and we found a way to get it done.” –
What are the obstacles you are facing now? How would your life look if you had a team that helped you? What are the victories that you can have if you placed your trust in God?
All the believers were one in mind and heart. Selfishness was not a part of their community, for they shared everything they had with one another.
Deciding to believe the value of your relationship with God is the first step to living an inspiring life. We all have our different stories of how God has worked in our lives, but have we slowed down to believe that we are meant to impact the world around us by making God attractive? What makes collective power beautiful is the unity and harmony it creates as we come together to make God attractive and change the world for good, not individually, but collectively.
To learn more about the beauty of collective power, read Chapter Five of Russ Ewell’s book, When God Isn’t Attractive, “What Makes God Attractive: How we can change the World.”