Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Small Group Lesson from the World Champion San Francisco Giants

I’m a baseball fan. My team, the Detroit Tigers, didn’t make the playoffs this season so I was able to watch the postseason without a strong heart tug. I watched this year’s World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers with a genuine eye on the baseball being played.

It was a learning experience—in a small groups sort-of-way.

On Monday night, the Giants captured their first championship in 55 years beating the Rangers 3-1 thanks to a masterful pitching performance by ace Tim Lincecum.

The Giants rode their talented young pitching staff and a collection of castoffs and misfits to their first title since Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House. What does this have to do with small groups? Plenty!

The Giants have no one in their day-to-day lineup that would be classified as a superstar—maybe not even a star. (Unlike the Rangers who have Josh Hamilton, the likely American League Most Valuable Player.) In fact, seven of their eight position players in the Series-clinching win were either dropped or traded away by a previous team. Two were even released by their former clubs in midseason! The Giants, who were only in first place for 38 days all season, were truly a group that came together to accomplish something bigger than themselves.

Therein lies the lesson for small groups. This collection of misfits pulled together to achieve something that more gifted teams could not, winning their sports’ ultimate team prize. They weren’t the most talented team, or the most funded team, or the most high-profile team—yet they did something incredible!

Is your small group like the San Francisco Giants? Are you a group of spiritual misfits? Are you a collection of one-gift, low-profile Christians? Be encouraged. God can—and does—use groups like you to do amazing things. Need proof? Look at baseball’s newly-crowned champions.

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