Summary: A sermon on teamwork based loosely on Ephesians 4:15-16 (Acrostic Outline taken from Rick Warren on Pastor’s Toolbox)

Sermon for 9/27/2009


Herman Ostry’s barn was under water because of a nearby creek. The Nebraska farmer invited a few friends to a barn raising. But it was not a typical barn rising (I said raising). They didn’t build a new barn. No, Mr. Ostry needed to move his entire 17,000 pound barn to a new foundation more than 143 feet away. His son Mike devised a system of hundreds of handles welded onto the inside and the outside of the barn. After one practice lift, 344 volunteers slowly walked the barn up a slight incline, each supporting less than 50 pounds. In just 3 minutes, the barn was on its new foundation.

The body of Christ can accomplish great things when we work together.


A. How many of us would like to see this church packed every Sunday? People baptized, saved and then equipped to make a difference in this community? To see this church have incredible influence locally, nationally, and globally for the glory of God? How many people would like to enjoy the benefits of a successful and happy family? Enjoy work satisfaction in a company that is doing great things?

B. All of it is possible through teamwork. Teamwork makes dreams work!

D. Casey Stengel, a football manager said, “It’s easy to get good players. Gettin’ them to play together, that’s the hard part.”

E. Throughout the Bible we read stories about people working together as teams to achieve a mission. (Gen 11:1-6 NIV) Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, "Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

G. We observe that these people took full advantage of teamwork to accomplish a goal. Think about what could be done if we have teamwork and work in partnership with God.

H. Read Ephesians 4:15-16.

I. The success of a ministry depends largely on developing a strong team with a deep sense of teamwork. A team spirit is never accidental; it is always intentional.

J. Rick Warren at Saddleback Church.

Thesis: We express the eight values of teamwork in a simple acrostic, T.E.A.M.W.O.R.K.

For instances:

T = Trust

Trust is a church (along with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit) is the glue that binds us all together. It is essential to producing true confidence in each other. There are 3 factors that create trust within a team:

1. Consistency

People will trust if, time after time, they see us responding in a consistent and reasonable manner. This takes time as well as consistency. I know I have only been here less than a year; Billy did a good job. The best ministries are the longer ones and we saw this lately with Billy. Also need to be readable, in the sense that people know where we are coming from in our decisions and responses. Especially in these times, a consistently godly character goes a long way. People are searching for stability. (2 Tim 2:2 NIV) And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

2. Loyalty

(1 Tim 5:19 NIV) Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.

Defend people of the church when they are criticized and then check the facts later in private, always thinking the best until there is concrete evidence to the contrary. Innocent until proven guilty. What I came to Louisiana, Guilty until proven innocent, may that not be the case in the church.

3. Delegation

When we delegate to different people in the church, we give them power to make decisions, and we are telling them: We trust you! People trust those who trust them.

(Eph 4:12 NIV) to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

E = Economy of energy

Quickest way to burn out is to never relax. (Gal 6:9 NIV) Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

However, some do grow weary. Here are some ways that we can promote an economy of energy within the church:

A. Don’t allow people to overload. In the long term, slow and steady wins the race. Do too much and deprive some of opportunities. In the end burn out and then what?

B. Make the ministry fun! “A sense of humor costs nothing, but not having one can be very costly.” This quote is from a book entitled Laugh, Lead, and Profit: Building Productive Workplaces with Humor, by Bob Ross. If this is true in the workplace, how much more true is it in the church? (Psa 126:1-3 NIV) When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

C. Do something not related to the church together. Problem with two pianists, they went to 6 Flags together and there have been no problems since.

A = Accountability

A. Holding people accountable is hard work, and it’s not usually fun. However, if I am keeping my promises, I’d better care and expect that all members are keeping their promises. Bring in a hired gun and let them do all the work. No, if I am keeping my promises, then I should expect that others keep their promises as well.

B. Must have Christian character. A man word should be his bond.

C. Hold people’s feet to the fire. I am not good at that but it needs to be done. At our workplace if someone didn’t do what they were supposed to do, what would happen?

D. (2 Tim 4:2 NIV) Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

M = Management of Mistakes

A. (Prov 24:16 NIV) for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.

B. Yvonne Moore with the children’s minute.

C. Mistakes are how we learn and get better.

W = Worship

A. We fellowship as Christians. We share what we have in common. We have Christ.

B. Look at Ephesians 4:15-16.

C. (Isa 40:30-31 NIV) Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

O = Open communication

A. (Prov 13:17 NIV) A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

B. 3 common barriers to open communication.

1. Presumption- What happens when we assume? It is crude but it is true.

2. Impatience- This causes us to jump to conclusions.

3. Pride- Resistant to feedback, become defensive instead of listening to others.

R = Recognition and Reward

A. Everybody is hungry for this. When people don’t get it, they get cranky. It is amazing how just a simple word of encouragement can change someone’s entire day.

B. (Rom 13:7 NIV) Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

C. Give credit where credit is due.

K = Keep on learning

A. The moment we stop learning, changing, and growing, we start dying.

B. As I have gone through life, provide opportunities to be a better this or that and not many come. I guess they are already as good as they can be so they don’t need to attend.

C. (Prov 18:15 NIV) The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.