Summary: Paul speaks of 14 different Christians leaders in Romans 16. Phoebe is listed first among these Christians. What was it that made her so special? Every church has its Phoebes. Pastors need to salute the Phoebes in their churches.


Romans 16:1-2



1. Did you hear about the man who was driving down the road and accidentally ran over the Easter Bunny? He swerved to avoid hitting him, but the rabbit jumped right in front of his car.

2. His basket of eggs went flying all over the place. The driver felt guilty. A woman stopped to help.

3. ‘‘I feel terrible,’’ he explained, ‘‘I hit the Easter Bunny and there may not be an Easter because me. What should I do?”

4. The woman told the man not to worry. She went to her car trunk, and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to the dead Bunny and sprayed the entire contents of the can onto the little furry animal.

5. Miraculously, the Easter Bunny came to back life, jumped up, picked up the spilled eggs and waved as it hopped on down the road.

6. The man was astonished. He said to the woman, ‘‘What in heaven’s name is in your spray can?’’

7. The woman turned the can around so he could read the label. It said: ‘‘Hair spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave.’’


1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.


1. The Apostle Paul really appreciated this woman named Phoebe. Paul also mentioned several other people in his letters to churches, but what he wrote about some was not good.


a. In Philippians 4:2 Paul mentions Euodias and Syntyche who couldn't get along with each other.

b. In 3 John 9, John mentions Diotrephes. He wanted to be the "big cheese" and dominate the church!

c. In 2 Timothy 4:10, Paul mentions Demas who loved the world too much to serve the Lord.

3. Now, Paul also speaks of 14 other Christians here in Romans 16. (Obviously they were very good Christian people!)

4. For some reason, Phoebe is listed first among these Christians. Why was Paul able to praise her? What was it that made her different?

5. Romans 16:1-2 gives three suggestions why. The title of this message is “Thanks For All the Phoebes in Our Church.”



“I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea….” Rom. 16:1.


1. Notice that Paul refers to her as "our sister."

2. When a person gets saved, he or she becomes a part of the family of God. We become part of God's family when we are born-again.

3. That is what Bible salvation is called. We are born from above, from God. All people are created by God, but not all are His family.

4. Jesus says in John 3:7, Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' Why MUST we be "born again"? Because you MUST be born again to go to Heaven.


1. Phoebe was worthy of praise, first of all, because she knew the Lord.

2. Do you know Him? Have you been "born again"?

I have no problem referring to you ladies as Sister _____.

3. You folks call me Brother John. That's good! If you've been "born again" then we are sisters and brothers!



“I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea….” Rom. 16:1.


1. Notice Paul calls Phoebe"...a servant of the church at Cenchrea." Cenchrea was located east of the city of Corinth.

2. The word "servant" is translated from the same Greek word that is also sometimes translated to deacons. "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." (1 Timothy 3:12)

3. It is also the same word that describes the ministry of Jesus. "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)


1. Phoebe was a real servant. It says that she was a servant of the church at Cenchrea.

a. She was busy doing the work of the Lord in a church.

b. She was not waiting for someone to ask her to do something.

c. She was using her abilities for the work of the Lord.

d. She did not just sit in church every Sunday.

e. She knew she was saved to serve!

2. Paul understood this very well. He saw himself as a slave of the Lord. In Romans 1:1, Paul calls himself as a servant of the Lord.

3. He was willing to serve and chose to do so, "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God."


1. Why do people go to a church?

2. Some look for what it can do for them. People like Phoebe look for what they can do for it!

3. I've heard some people say, "I quit going to that church because I wasn't being fed." “I want to be blessed, instead of being a blessing.” That's the wrong attitude!

4. We should attend and belong to a church, not just for what we can get out of it, but for what we can contribute to that church!

5. Some Christians are unsure what they should be doing. They don't know what the Lord wants them to do.

6. Let me encourage all of you to volunteer! The Lord will use you if you are willing. Servants don't just look for areas to serve where they want to serve. They just serve wherever and whenever needed! They get busy doing what needs to be done!



“…that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.


1. The word "helper" means more than you might think.

The King James Bible uses the word "succourer." "Helper" or ""succourer" is translated from the Greek word Prostatis.

2. This is the only place in the New Testament where this Greek word is used.

3. It is a special word of high regard meaning, "a female guardian, protectress, patroness, caring for the affairs of others and aiding them with her resources."


1. Phoebe was a protector of the saints. She spent her time protecting many, including the Apostle Paul.

2. She made sure that other's needs were met. She helped Paul is his ministry work.

3. As a helper or succourer: She guarded against slander and gossip. She didn’t allow it.

4. DIDN’T ALLOW CRITICISM. She guarded against criticism of Paul! Now, Paul was a fine Christian man, but he had people who criticized his work.

5. Jesus never pleased everybody and neither did Paul.

Likewise, there are people who criticize church leaders. She overlooked his weaknesses and supported his ministry.

6. I Thank God for those who stand up for God’s anointed! I really appreciate people like Phoebe in this church! You protect the work of God from harm.

7. Unfortunately, many churches today are loaded with

a. Euodias & Syntyches who can’t get along;

b. Diotrephes who love to dominate what goes on in the church.

c. And the Demases who love the world too much to serve the Lord.

8. It is far easier to be a Demas or a Diotrephes, or an Euodias or a Syntyche, than it is to be a Phoebe!


A. ILLUSTRATION: A Beautiful Moment

1. Proverbs 19:17 says, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.”

2. John Stuart & his wife were in a Macdonald's restaurant, having a coffee before Sunday School. At one of the tables, a woman was sitting alone, who looked unkempt, unwashed and untidy.

3. She was having an imaginary conversation with someone who wasn't there, but every now and then she looked over to my wife and I, smiled sweetly and then continued talking to herself.

4. Five minutes later, one of the servers came over to sit down for her breakfast break. At first, I thought she was going to ask the lady to leave.

5. Instead, she sat down beside her and carefully halved her sausage biscuit with the woman. It was a beautiful and sacred moment. A Holy Communion was taking place before my very eyes.

6. What made this even more special was the fact that I knew the server was having severe financial problems of her own at the time.

7. But here she was, sharing half of everything she possessed on that morning, with someone whose need was greater than her own.

8. The server at Macdonald's preached to me a beautiful sermon that morning. As she gave to the poor, bedraggled lady, she was lending to the LORD. One day, he will amply reward her for that moment of true compassion and genuine love.


1. Phoebe was a commendable Christian. Everything we know about her was commendable.

2. Ask yourself this question: "Who are the Phoebes in our church?" Would that include you?

3. Let’s endeavor to be people who positively impact our church and its future for God!

4. Prayer.

[This is a rewrite of David Rigg’s message of the same title]