I remember playing ball on the playground as a child. Without the internet to distract us, we play a lot. We often were in the situation where we had to choose our teams. The pattern was almost always the same. Two captains were selected. They would rock-paper-scissors for first pick. Then, they would alternate back and forth, selecting players for their teams.
It almost always went the same way. The first pick was the best player. The second pick was the next best player. And so on down the line. The last kid picked was deemed the worst player by the captains. This was a good way to evenly match the teams.
Now, when it comes to the church, God chooses his team as well. He choses those who will be in the church. Only, when God chooses his teammates, he doesn’t choose the best players first. Instead, he does the opposite. He chooses the worst players to be on his team.
To the church in Corinth, Paul wrote, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:26-28).
In other words, as the Lord builds his church, he doesn’t choose the best of people in the world’s eyes. He chooses the foolish and the weak and the despised of the world. God might be compared to the NBA player who plays on the playground for kids. Even though he may pick the worst kids on the playground, his team will still win because of the talents of the NBA player.
So it is with the church. It is composed of misfits, “so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:29). Any success that the church experiences is not because of the ability of those in the church. It’s because of our great Captain, who will bring in the victory, even on a team with weak players. As a result, we can’t boast in our own abilities. We must boast in our captain, the Lord of the church, who always leads us in triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14).