Monday, April 13, 2009

Effective Or Great?

I heard a discussion on ESPN Sports a few days ago about a certain college basketball player named Tyler Hansbrough who plays for the University of North Carolina. He is a senior and has been their number one player. The discussion was among sports writers who were debating whether or not Tyler was really good enough to make it big in professional basketball. Some felt he was and some felt he wasn't. In other words, was he a great player?

The writers decided to ask Bobby Knight, a retired college coach who has won more basketball games than any other division one coach. He is outspoken and has a lot of experience and wisdom when it comes to evaluating college basketball talent. They asked him how good he thought Hansbrough would be in the Pros.

Knight commented that he felt that Hansbrough was not a "great" player but an "effective" player. At first it seemed like a negative response. Then he went on to say that he would much rather have an effective player on his team rather than a so-called great player. He went on to explain that an effective player is smart, knows the value of teamwork, plays offense and defense well, isn't concerned about getting "star" status, and is very teachable. In other words, a player who doesn't think he is so good that nobody can tell him how to play better. Knight said Hansbrough would be the first player he would draft.

I thought about that a lot. Does God want so-called "great" Christians -- those who see themselves as "stars"; or is He looking for workers who want to serve without complaint and aren't concerned about constant recognition? Friends, nothing makes a pastor's heart so glad as having people who say they will serve wherever needed - wherever it is felt they can be effectively used. There are no superstars in God's Kingdom: no sports stars, no rock stars no media stars. In God's Kingdom, the word "great" is used for those who are the most effective "servants". Jesus said it Himself in Mark 9:35 after his followers were arguing about which one was the greatest. Jesus said: "Whoever wants to be first (the greatest) must take last place and be the servant of everyone else."

Up North Wisdom says that goes against our societies way of doing business but it must not go against the church's methods of doing Kingdom business. Let's make a commitment that with God's help, we will be "great" in our work for Him. And like Bobby Knight said, let's put effectiveness ahead of stardom.

The Kingdom's employment sign is out: Wanted -- Servants.


  1. What a GREAT post! Very effective as well!!

  2. Like working in the nursery right? Not very glamorous, but so important and very needed! Is this a prelude to your announcement on Sunday? :)

  3. Thank you for being a servant example. It does not go unnoticed. What announcement on Sunday?

  4. Thanks Jerry, for reminding us that God is lookng for our availability not our ability. BTW, I followed your advice last week and today my friend is home working on his marriage. Blessings!