Summary: The church must practice good teamwork in order to be successful.

Are you a team player?

In May, 1953, two men became the first in history to climb to the top of Mt. Everest; Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand beekeeper and explorer, and his Sherpa guide from Nepal, Tenzing Norgay. They reached the summit together and attained instant international fame.

On the way down from the 29,000-foot peak, Hillary slipped and started to fall. He would almost certainly have fallen to his death, but Tenzing Norgay immediately dug in his ice-axe and braced the rope linking them together, saving Hillary’s life.

At the bottom the international press made a huge fuss over the Sherpa guide’s heroic action. Through it all Tenzing Norgay remained very calm, very professional, very uncarried away by it all. To all the shouted questions he had one simple answer: “Mountain climbers always help each other.”

Just as moutain climbers help each other, we in the body of Christ must help each other.

Three ways to practice good teamwork in the church,

I. We must help those who have erred

In April, the Atlanta Falcons drafted Michael Vick. Because of his inexperience the Falcons will depend on the veteran Chris Chandler to guide him and help him to become a successful quarterback.

God is depending on those who are grounded deeper in their faith to guide those who are new in this spiritual journey. Instead of criticizing the new believer when they fall, we should gently correct them with the word of God.

II. We must bear each other’s burdens

One hot day, Herman Trueblood, all clean and cooled off by a nice swim in the ocean, saw a sweating man and his two sons trying on a hot day to push his disabled car up an incline. Two voices started yelling at each other inside him. One said, "There is an opportunity for service; you ought to help them push." The other voice protested, "Now that is none of your business. You will get yourself all hot and dirty. Let them handle their own affair." He finally yielded to his better impulse. He put his shoulder to the task. The car moved and kept moving.

A simple thing then happened which Trueblood never forgot. The father stuck out his dirty hand, and Trueblood stuck out his dirty hand. The father said, "I am very glad that you came along. You had just enough strength, added to ours, to make the thing go."

"Years have passed since that hot day, but I can still hear that man saying, ’You had just enough strength, added to ours, to make the thing go,’ " Trueblood reflected more recently. "There are many thousands of people struggling to get some heavy load over the hill, and I probably have ’just enough strength, added to theirs, to make the thing go.’ "

We must help those who are struggling in their lives with burdens that seem to heavy.

III. We must have a right perspective of ourselves

There is certainly no "I" in team.

We should not try to dictate every activity in the church, but serve with humility.

Conclusion:There’s a wonderful story about Jimmy Durante, one of the great entertainers of a generation ago. He was asked to be a part of a show for World War II veterans. He told them his schedule was very busy and he could afford only a few minutes, but if they wouldn’t mind his doing one short monologue and immediately leaving for his next appointment, he would come. Of course, the show’s director agreed happily.

But when Jimmy got on stage, something interesting happened. He went through the short monologue and then stayed. The applause grew louder and louder and he kept staying. Pretty soon, he had been on fifteen, twenty, then thirty minutes.

Finally he took a last bow and left the stage. Backstage someone stopped him and said, “I thought you had to go after a few minutes. What happened?”

Jimmy answered, “I did have to go, but I can show you the reason I stayed. You can see for yourself if you’ll look down on the front row.” In the front row were two men, each of whom had lost an arm in the war. One had lost his right arm and the other had lost his left. Together, they were able to clap, and that’s exactly what they were doing, loudly and cheerfully.

If we would work together in our churches, we would be able to accomplish so much for the body of Christ. Would you be a team player?

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