Faith Handoff – Team that Couldn’t Lose
While serving as pastor of the Saratoga Federated Church in California, Greg developed a discipleship program—Discipleship Essentials (InterVarsity, 1998)—that has since been used by more than 15,000 people.
Greg has taught lay equipping and discipleship at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is now executive pastor of discipleship at Christ Church of Oak Brook in Illinois.
What He Said…Team that Couldn’t Lose
At the Olympic games in 1988 in Seoul, Korea, the American 4 x 100 relay team was poised to break the world record and assume its position as the best in the world. It had peerless athletes. The only question was whether it would crack the world record.
Yet as the final leg of the race approached, the unthinkable happened. The Americans dropped the baton. The crowd, electrified moments earlier, was left in stunned silence. The American team had arrogantly relied on its inherent speed and failed to sufficiently practice the handoff so crucial for completion of the race.
“Every Christian must see himself as the link to the next generation,” writes William Barclay. We need to practice the handoff. When all else fails, read the directions. It is not that Jesus’ way has been tried and found wanting; it has largely been talked about but not implemented. Return to small, reproducible, long-term relationships as the means of transmission of the gospel from one generation to the next.
Adapted from Transforming Discipleship (Inter-Varsity, 2003)