Why Does God want Teamwork?
Recognition of new members at Christian Hills Church during Praise and Worship.
Opening video Illustration: Teamwork “The Blue Angels”
Illustration: Movie Clip on Teamwork – From “Remember the Titans.”
Movie is focused on bringing together different cultures and races and developing them into a team. The coaches do this by hard work and intentional focus. The team does come together and becomes an unbeatable High School football team. It’s a team that is different but one that learned to function by practicing teamwork.
Thesis: A key to unlocking the door of revival at Christian Hills is teamwork and when the team players understand the following statement then we will have another key to unlocking revival.
“The Church (TEAM) does not exist for the member, rather the member exists for the church (TEAM)."
Key point: The key to teamwork is relationships. When they exist between each of the members we are on our way to becoming undefeated. This key to Revival is teamwork and when the church is functioning as a team of players with different abilities then we have an unstoppable force. If a church does not have teamwork then it will die.
Text: Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.”
We have talked about unity and its importance here at Christian Hills in the past but I want to explain that unity is important but teamwork is also important. There is a difference between the two - unity means to live together in harmony which is essential. But teamwork means to work together as a team. Many can live together but the ones who win the race are team players who work together.
John Maxwell in his book The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player states, “Great challenges require great teamwork, and the quality most needed among teammates amid the pressure of a difficult challenge is collaboration. Notice that I didn’t say ‘cooperation’ because collaboration is more than that. Cooperation is working together aggressively. Collaborative teammates do more than just work with one another. Each person brings something to the table that adds value to the relationship and synergy to the team. The sum of truly collaborative teamwork is always greater than its parts” (page 13, 14)
Listen to what teamwork does:
T- Together as a unified group of believers
E- Each one of us
A- Achieves miraculous results
M- More than we could ever do on our own.
W- Wow what God can do with teamwork!
O- Over-comers are developed.
R- Revelations are unleashed to the team.
K-Kingdom growth occurs and people are led from here to eternity.
Jesus himself demonstrated the importance of teams in doing ministry. When He started his ministry the first thing he did was to start forming his team, the 12 disciples Matt. 4:18-22:
18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him.
21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Jesus who knew God intimately, was directed to use the team to change the world. Today this is still the will and plan of God for the Kingdom of God. The Lord is the coach and he is putting us through training camp so that we can learn to become an unbeatable team. But many of us still don’t want to be a team player.
Jones states, "I once had a discussion with a gentleman from another country who said he was envious of Americans’ ability to form teams. "When your people want to get something done, they gather a group and assign the tasks. In my country, unfortunately, we do not have it so easy. Many of us cannot even seem to sit down together at the table. We spend years playing King of the mountain, while your people have already figured out how to move it, save it, or make it bigger.”
If you want to accomplish anything for the Lord you need to comprehend that you must be a part of the team (the church). The next step toward unlocking the door to revival here at Christian Hills is found in teamwork.
There are many teachings out there that God uses super men and women to do His work. They focus on rugged individualism as the key to success in ministry. They promote the lone superman image, the lone ranger image. But if you read the book of Acts you discover it takes a team to build a church. It takes a team to spread the Kingdom of God.
Scripture Text to prove this point:
Acts 6:1-7 "The choosing of the seven" Read! Note the team grew bigger, and more effective!
1In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
5This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
7So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Acts 18 1-4
1After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
Main Scripture Text for sermon Luke 10:1-24:
1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ 10But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ 12I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13“Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16“He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
Jesus role modeled for us how we are to build teams and how to work within the context of a team. The book of Acts verified that God uses teamwork to spread the Gospel. He uses teamwork to unleash revival and sustain revival. He does this by using different people at different positions on His dream teams.
We can liken church teams like football teams: Some will play defense, some offense, some will coach, some will be special team players. Some will be ready to get up off the bench and fill in for one who gets injured. Championship teams know the importance of placing the right people in the right position so they can win the game and eventually win the Super Bowl. This takes many people with different shapes, sizes, speed, agility, gifts, abilities and the like. The more diversity a team has on its team the more able they are to win games. If a football team only had large players they would lose because speed would run around them.
So Jesus knew that the best team was a team with different types of people.
I. Jesus used all types of people with different backgrounds to reach the world Matthew 10:1-42:
a. Jesus knew that people contribute their uniqueness to churches and therefore they make it stronger.
i. Each person in the body (on the team) contains a host of knowledge, insight and experiences to a scenario, or a situation.
1. Murdoch makes this observation, " Look at those who surrounded Jesus: A tax collector, a physician, fishermen, a woman who was a prostitute and at one time possessed with seven demons. Some were poor. Some were wealthy. Some were very energetic, while others were passive. Some were explosive like Peter. Others, like James, were logical" (pg. 101).
b. Proverbs 18:15 "The heart of the prudent gets knowledge and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge."
c. Proverbs 11:14 "Where no counsel is the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety."
i. The reality check is Jesus tapped all available resources and used them for the building of the Kingdom of God.
II. Jesus also knew that Teams create a vision of something larger than one can see individually:
a. The Great Commission is a team vision cast by Jesus to reach the world for the kingdom, point -- it’s not a one man job! (Matt. 28:16-20).
i. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
ii. Vision is given to the ones who are team players! The Bible does not tell us to go out one by one but two by two (teams).
III. Teamwork and ministry “Jesus Style”
a. There are keys in Luke 10:1-24 to learn on how teamwork functions when going for the harvest.
i. When Jesus sent out the seventy he did so in teams so that they would be effective in ministry (Luke 10:1-24).
1. 1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
2. Maxwell “Teams that don’t bond can’t build” (138).
ii. Jesus first told them (plural) to pray for the harvest together this is teamwork verse 2.
1. 2He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
a. Prayer is the essential ingredient for success in ministry and for God providing the workers for the ministry.
i. Mike Murdoch states, “Jesus knew that prayer generates results” (Leadership secrets of Jesus page 172).
1. He also noted: Prayer works. Satan dreads your prayer link to God. He will attempt to sabotage it in any way possible. Don’t let him. Make a daily appointment with God. – And I add keep them!
ii. Mark 1:35: “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”
iii. The job is dangerous and it’s both offensive work and defensive work verse 3.
1. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
iv. When where doing the great commission it’s imperative to trust the Lord to provide he does this through teamwork.
1. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
a. RESOURCES ARE WHAT INDIVIDUALS CONTRIBUTE NOT HOARD FOR THEM SELVES!
b. Lutzer stated, “When you surrender your will to God, you discover the resources to do what God requires.”
c. Don’t allow anyone to distract you from doing the task at hand bringing in the spiritual Harvest for the Kingdom of God.
d. Most people get distracted from the harvest when their focus becomes self-centered or inwardly focused.
i. Philp. 2:3 "do nothing out of selfish ambition"
1. Do all to the glory of God whatever you do not to the glory of self.
ii. I Cor. 10:31 31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
2. Maxwell notes, “The (Dream) team members are (ones) willing to pay the price” and “Success comes down to sacrifice-willingness to pay the price” (148).
a. He also adds, “Each member of the team must be willing to sacrifice time and energy to practice and preparation. He must be willing to be held accountable. He must be willing to sacrifice his own desires. He must be willing to give up part of himself for the team’s success. It all comes down to the desire and dedication of the individuals on the team” (148).
b. Dream team players know how important it is to play even if your hurt!
v. Identify fellow workers and cooperate together, accept their resources freely so you can achieve your goals verses 5, 6.
1. 5“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
2. Align yourself a long side other dream team players.
vi. Don’t be an opportunist - verses 7& 8 and above all be content with what is provided.
1. 7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.8“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.
a. Dream team players know not to get greedy or selfish. Be content in all circumstances and don’t become a spoiled brat.
b. Dream team players know the importance of sticking in one area and focusing on the task rather than jumping from one team to another all the time. They know that the grass is not greener on the other side.
c. Dream team players know that they are not free-agents but God’s agents.
vii. Be filled with God’s power by preaching the word of the kingdom vs. 9
1. 9Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’
a. We must keep the vision in focus and in our preaching and teaching and our work at hand.
b. Maxwell states a dream team “Knows what’s important.”
c. What’s important – “Not that the team serves me but that I serve the team and its owner!”
viii. Go were the soil will produce fruit verses 10-15
1. 10But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ 12I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.13“Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
a. Use home field advantage to your benefit!
b. Don’t stay in a place where there is no fruit being produced.
c. Go where the harvest is.
d. Play on a winning team and make it better.
ix. Realize that when you are rejected there not just rejecting you but the Lord Jesus Christ who sent you. Verse. 16
1. 16“He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
a. You need to understand that not everyone will like your team. It’s the owner they don’t like. Not you!
2. KEY: And remember this is all done as a team! There is more than one person doing the task.
x. The seventy (the team) did this and they came back successful experiencing power in Jesus name bringing in the harvest. Verse 17
1. 17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
a. They returned with Joy because they functioned as a team and God did miracles and they brought in the harvest.
b. This is where true joy comes -joy that will last for eternity.
c. It’s a Super Bowl party that goes on for eternity!
xi. Jesus had a vision when he saw them work together as a team – Satan was cast down like he was from Heaven. Teamwork casts out Satan and Jesus has given us the authority to defeat him when we work as team players on His team called JC’s Dream Team (18-24)
1. 18He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.22“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 23Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
a. Notice Jesus tells the disciples blessed is what you have seen and participated in because many kings wanted power to do what I have enabled and trained you to do.
b. Their success in ministry was created by teamwork and this energized them to do more for God!
WHY do we need Teamwork in the church? Answer: Because Jesus set it up this way!
a. He practiced, taught it, and modeled it.
b. Jesus never tried to succeed in His mission alone!
1. Jesus even stated in John 5:30 "By myself I can do nothing, I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but to him who sent me."
c. You need God! Yes absolutely
d. You need each other! Yes and God wants it this way.
Key thought! ‘YOUR REWARDS IN THIS LIFE AND IN ETERNITY ARE DETERMINED BY THE PROBLEMS YOU SOLVE FOR SOMEONE ELSE!
Question – What is your position on the God’s Dream Team? Because you teamwork makes the dream work!
1. Are you gifted in blocking?
2. Are you gifted in passing?
3. Are you gifted in running?
4. Are you gifted in filling in for one who is injured or needs a rest?
5. Are you gifted in Coaching?
6. Are you gifted in receiving?
7. Are you gifted in preparing the field to play on?
8. Are you gifted in giving motivational speeches?
9. Let me assure you – there is a position you are to fill for God’s dream team but are willing to step into that position and play with all your heart for the Lord. How bad do you want Revival?
T - TOGETHER as a unified group of believers
E - EACH one of us
A - ACHIEVES miraculous results
M - MORE than we could ever do on our own
W - WOW what God can do with teamwork
O - OVERCOMERS are developed
R - REVELATIONS are unleashed to the team
K - KINGDOM growth occurs and people are led from here to eternity.