Summary: A look at the need for community within the church. Part 4 of 4.

Being a Team Player

Ephesians 4:2-6

January 29, 2017

I love this picture! Look closely at the picture, each boat is rowing at the same speed, at the same rate. It’s a great example of teamwork. We don’t go canoeing very often. I do remember canoeing with my family and we had to remind one another of the need to row together - - so we could go straight or gain a little speed. It’s not just a matter of coordination, it’s a matter of utilizing team work.

Team work is vitally important to any organization. Think about football players and their success. To be successful, you need the other players on the team to perform their jobs.

This past Christmas, Dallas Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliot bought these John Deere Utility vehicles for his offensive line. They cost about $10,000 each.

The most outrageous gift was by a guy most here love, Tom Brady, in 2008, he gave his offensive lineman Audi Q7 SUV’s valued at $42,000 each!! Not to bad. There’s lots of players who give great gifts, especially after they’ve had great seasons! Why do they do this?

Brady wouldn’t be as good as he is without a great offensive line - - - and Ezekiel Elliot wouldn’t be the great rookie running back without his offensive line blocking well for him.

It's the same in other areas of life. Whenever movie stars win an Oscar, they give the same basic speech: "I would like to thank all the people who helped make this night possible — my agent, my manager, my director, my producer, the writers, the members of the cast..." and on and on.

On July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, he was the focus of attention for the entire planet. Even today, his name is most associated with the moon voyage. His statement "One small step for man..." will never be forgotten.

What is forgotten, is that the Apollo expedition succeeded because a large and committed team of individuals sacrificed day and night for years to make it happen. Neil Armstrong was only one of over 218,000 people who worked on the Apollo project. He received most of the recognition, but he would be the first to tell you - - it was a team effort.

Remember the Challenger disaster, remember what the cause of the disaster was? An O-ring! It was a part which didn’t cost much, yet because it didn’t work properly, there was a disaster and 7 people died.

That's the way it is with every area of life. Life is a team sport. God intends for us to work together in order to achieve success. One person cannot do it alone. And sometimes, when one person doesn’t do what they need to do, we suffer as well.

It's the same at church. Church is a team sport. In order to do the work God has called us to do, we must work together as a team — though that is not the strategy most churches use. Too often, the strategy is to hire a "professional" (or group of professionals) to do the work of the ministry for the people, who are the recipients of ministry. That's not the Biblical model. The Bible tells us God's method in Ephesians 4 ~

11 It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,

12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up... – Ephesians 4:11-12

God's plan for sustaining and growing His church involves teamwork. It involves everyone working together, everyone caring for one another. We make sure the body is cared for and is healthy. This is why Paul reminds us in Romans 12 ~

9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. — Romans 12:9-18

I only wanted to read one verse to you . . . rejoice with those who rejoice - - and weep with those who weep. That was it, and then I reread this passage, and I realized I could not leave out one word. This is all so vital. I could go on for a few more weeks on community just talking about this passage.

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