I decided to try out for the basketball team in 8th grade. I certainly loved the sport and had played countless hours of pick-up ball on the playground. I had height, speed, and some basic skills, but I had never played organized basketball, nor had I ever been coached.
I was pleasantly shocked when my name was last on the roster. I had been chosen, albeit last. The coach picked me because he saw potential. For many, the word potential is a negative. It is often received as a statement that we aren’t good enough.
I must admit, I have never enjoyed being told I had potential. But in 8th grade, I proudly stepped into that role and embraced the opportunity. That potential developed when coaching was present. Otherwise, I was simply perfecting bad habits.
What in the world does this have to do with our faith? A lot! When we read of Apollos in Acts 18:24-28, we learn of a man with education, enthusiasm, and energy. He was bold and courageous to speak the name of Christ. However, he didn’t fully understand the scope of the Gospel message being delivered to the Gentiles, and he was a bit confused about the role of baptism. He needed coaching!
Apollos was coached by the faithful servants, Aquila and Priscilla. In love and in privacy, they listened to what he taught and instructed him to better and more fully understand the Gospel. This is an incredible picture of how we should live every day.
Like Apollos, we must boldly and enthusiastically share the hope of Christ, while being willing and ready to learn and grow. It is a dangerous place when we think we have “arrived.” The refining fire of God always works to purify our hearts and increase our understanding.
Like Aquila and Priscilla, we must commit to encourage and teach other believers with love and respect. Take note of the private way they corrected Apollos and how they used Scripture to do so. The aim was not to force him to conform to their preference, but rather, to point him to Christ and His Word.
The body of Christ will continue to grow if we reach others with the boldness of Apollos and if we build others with the grace of Aquila and Priscilla. Imagine the potential that we can grow into the men and women Christ has created and called us to be!