Perhaps the seeds of redemption lay not just in perseverance, hard work, and rugged individualism. Perhaps they lay in something more fundamental— the simple notion of everyone pitching in and pulling together. Brown, Daniel James. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (p. 123).
American evangelicalism is individualistic, consumeristic and triumphal. Emerging from American culture, this should not be a surprise. A strong sense of individualism is found in the revivalistic strains of coming to Jesus on your own, inviting Jesus into yourheart, and seeing church as a less than necessary additional step in discipleship. Because white Americans know that it is “all about me,” in church and at McDonalds and its offspring, we cater to the whims and of the individual consumer. Because we promote the idea that America is the best, triumphalism seeps into our faith stance. American evangelicalism is not characterized as communal, giving or humble.
We look at these boys in the boat from the Univerisity of Washington in the 1930’s. They give us a glimpse of what should be bedrock for the church as followers of Jesus. My definition of the church focuses around three images. Church as: the people of God, the body of Christ, the temple of the Spirit. These images invite a way of being Christians that is counter to what we see in our churches.
- We work together
- We encourage each other
- We sacrifice for each other
- We weep with each other
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12: 4 There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 5 and there are different ministries and the same Lord; 6 and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. 7 A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good.
We lay aside our egos. We give up our need to be first and best.We are the church together!