Children's Readings

Team Leaders and Teamwork

Opening Question: What makes up a good team? What do we mean by the word "teamwork?"

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17

Brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I urge you to profess the same faith. Do not divide the community into little cliques. Instead, you should work together with one mind and one purpose.

Friends of Chloe made it clear that you were fighting among yourselves, brothers and sisters. What I mean is this: Some of you claim "I follow Paul and his teaching." Others claim, "I follow Apollos." Still others claim, "I follow Peter." Then, there are those who boast, "I belong to Christ." Has Christ been carved into pieces, just like your community lives now? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?

Christ did not send me to baptize personal followers. And I do not pump up my preaching with words of wisdom so the power of Christ's cross should be drained away. No! Christ sent me to spread the Good News!

Joey liked to play different sports, because they required different skills. Baseball required good eye-hand coordination to hit and field the ball. Football required strength to block and endurance to run. Basketball required the coordination of baseball and the endurance of football. Joey liked the challenge each sport had.

But each sport had something in common: teamwork. Teamwork means that people work together for the greater good of the team. Teamwork means that every single player has an important part and every single player depends on everyone else. With good teamwork, everyone feels good that, together, they can do something that they can't do by themselves: win.

Joey liked to be on a team with good teamwork, because they would be filled with friends. He had been on teams where no one liked each other. Those teams lost because of pride, selfishness, and hurt. Those teams ended up falling apart.

In today's reading, St. Paul asked people at Corinth to get along with each other, not to argue or take sides. These people were breaking the Church apart with their bickering. Like Joey, Paul wanted them to work together, like a good team, so they could show others what being Christian is truly all about.

Bridging Question: What does it take to be a good team captain?

Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23

Reader 1:

When he heard the king arrested John the Baptist, Jesus went back to Galilee. He left Nazareth, his hometown. He made a new home in Capernaum on the shore of Lake Galilee, right by the areas where the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali used to lived. In this way, God fulfilled the promise he made through Isaiah the prophet:

Reader 2:

The lands where Zebulun and Naphtali lived,
Along the road to the lake,
on the other side of the Jordan River.
Galilee, the land of the Gentiles.
These are the people who live in the dark.
And they will see a bright light.
Those who live in a country without God's life
will see a light rise among them.

Reader 1:

From then on, Jesus began to preach, "Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven is near!"

Reader 2:

When he walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw Simon Peter and Andrew, his brother. At the time, they were trying to catch fish with a net, since they made money as fishermen. "Come with me," Jesus told them, "and you will fish for people." Right then, they left their nets and followed Jesus. Down the shore, Jesus saw James and John, his brother, with their father Zebedee. They were in their father's boat putting the nets away. Jesus called to them. Right then, they left their father and his boat to follow Jesus.

Reader 1:

Jesus traveled all over Galilee. He taught in the synagogues where the Jews gathered every week to pray. He preached the Good News of the kingdom. And he healed all kinds of sickness and disease among the people.

Alison had enough! The girls had a group project due Friday. None of her friends had even called to come over and work on the project. So, she got on the phone. One by one, she called her friends to set up a time to work.

When her friends arrived at her house, Alison had the project materials and assignments ready. "Jane, you and Katie do the layout on the poster board," Alison said. "Rosa, you and Danielle cut up the pictures and arrange them. Lydia, you and I will paint the project." Slowly, each part of the project came together. At first it was hard, but it got easier because Alison organized it so well. Before they knew it, the project was done, ready to be taken to school.

The day the projects were graded, the girls beamed with pride. They were proud of their project, and they were proud of their leader, Alison. She called them and showed them how to do the work. She made it easy.

Like Alison, Jesus called people to help him in his ministry. He called Peter and Andrew, James and John, to go out, tell others about God's kingdom, and heal the sick, just like he did. Jesus formed a team, called the Church. He's a good team leader, because he calls us to be on his team and he shows us how to serve each other. And when we serve one another, we heal our hurts and grow closer together.

Closing Question: How does Jesus show how to be a good leader? Why should we be on his team?