When I was a younger, I wasn’t really keen on playing football, cricket etc. out on the streets in our area. I enjoyed cycling and was good at badminton, but where we lived – like a lot of places – if you were a boy you needed to be great at football to succeed.
I was favoured in defence but only because I was fearless and used to go in hard stopping anything coming my way! So, whenever the captains of the teams were chosen at school and they began picking teams, I was usually chosen somewhere near to the middle/end of the 'draft'.
This team-picking ritual was usually fairly predictable. The captains would generally pick their friends early on. However, the main aim was trying to pick a team that could win the game. Every once in a while a captain would surprise the group by making an unexpected pick. Maybe they noticed something others had missed, or they had a strategy that would require that particular player in a special way.
In the mission of reaching a lost world, God is the captain, and He gets to pick His team. Reading the Bible, it can seem as if God often made some surprising picks.
He picks the youngest son of Jesse, a shepherd and part-time lunch delivery boy named David, over his impressive brothers, to be the King.
Jesus called a 'rag-tag' bunch of mostly uneducated fishermen and outcasts to lead His gospel movement.
It also seems like a bizarre pick for God to make His wisdom known to the universe through the church, a group of people who, at times, seem most adept at making mistakes.
But that is what He did. And that is what He does.
In fact such was Jesus' confidence He was able to say to one of the 'rag-tag' bunch, “And I declare you are Peter, on this bed rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not overpower it" (Matthew 16:18).
And just like in all the other strange picks, God's plan plays itself out, until eventually we see that He knew what He was doing all along. He's a great captain! He has a plan and a strategy, and the church – us – we are central to His plan!