Andrew, not his real name, walked into the church office Wednesday afternoon as Tyler, our youth director, and I were conferring about Sunday’s message. He spoke with Sandy first and she heard enough of his story to know that it was worth his waiting to talk. Tyler and I finished our conversation, Tyler heading back to his office and Sandy to tell me just a little about Andrew, this young man waiting patiently in the outer office. His situation was more than some food from the food pantry might resolve.
The back and forth with Tyler probably took five seconds.
“This sounds important. Would you like to talk to him or shall I?” I asked.
“Let’s tag team it,” Tyler answered.
So, we tag teamed it and for the next hour and a half Tyler and I talked with Andrew. Suffice it to say that Andrew was as confused as he was hungry, as friendless as he was penniless, and a long way from home.
But this story is not so much about Andrew, his circumstance, or the help he found through LPC on Wednesday afternoon. For sure, we did not resolve the things that life has put in his path, but we did well, and Andrew made it home.
“Let’s tag team it,” Tyler said.
The expression comes from wrestling. One definition says, “A pair of wrestlers fight as a team, taking the ring alternately. One team member cannot enter the ring until touched or tagged by the one leaving.”
Tyler and I tagged teamed well as Andrew did most of the talking, we most of the listening; questions asked to clarify and refocus.
Tag teaming, of course, is the biblical model for ministry. “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.” (Luke 10:1). Two by two. Think of Moses and Aaron, Paul and Silas, Priscilla and Aquila, the famous wife and husband tag team.
Tag team ministry draws on two by two strength and energy, wisdom and insight, ability and giftedness. It assumes accountability and thrives on encouragement.
Tyler is a great tag team partner and his ministry with us is a great joy. Our youth ministry is built on a tag team principle of leadership. Our Sunday School program insists on a “two adult” rule for reasons other than KidsSafe. Two by two is the way Jesus taught and it should be expected practice among God’s people, the church.
Who are your tag team partners as you follow Christ and use your gifts for ministry? Who encourages you and holds you accountable? With whom do you “strive side by side for the faith of the gospel?”
LPC will thrive as a two by two, tag-team church. We cannot make it as a go-it-alone church.
Who is on your tag team?
See you Sunday (tag team sermon at the 9:45 service)