Summary: For the church to operate scripturally, it must opperate as a team
Doing Church as a Team
Acts 2:42-47 - They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
In his book, The Habits of Highly Effective Churches, George Barna describes “highly effective” churches as; “churches where the people are implementing Christianity more and more deeply, both on the corporate and individual levels. They are people who truly worship God on a regular basis. They are people who are consistently introducing non-Christians to Christ. They are learning and applying principles and truths of the Christian faith to their life. They are developing significant relationships with other believers, befriending, encouraging and holding each other accountable. They joyfully contribute their material possessions to ministries and individuals in need, for the glory of God. And they devote their time and energy to helping disadvantaged people. Cumulatively, these behaviors represent the Church in its fullest manifestation.”
(The Habits of Highly Effective Churches, Copyright 1998, George Barna)
The only power that can cleanse and restore this nation is the power of Christ.
As the church, “we must rekindle our passion for God, recapture a sense of urgency about ministry and respond strategically to the challenges before us.
(THE SECOND COMING OF THE CHURCH, Copyright 1998, George Barna)
If we believe Jesus when He referred to Peter’s confession that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God”, as the rock upon which He would build His church, and the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it; If we are to take seriously the great commission where we are commanded to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”, if we as Spirit Filled Christians are to “receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”; then as Christ’s body, as His ambassadors to a lost and dying world, we must realize that the local church is the only hope for this nation.
Willow Creek’s vision statement – We want to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ.
A Harvard Business Scholl student’s response – “it sounds to me like they’re…well...they’re trying to turn atheists into missionaries. And frankly, I see that as one h… of a challenge!”
The class burst into laughter, but her comment was more than just a slightly coarse remark to me. It triggered something deep inside. The way she said it – turning atheists into missionaries – gave me new clarity. No wonder it’s so hard to do what we’re trying to do!
We’re not just wanting to keep Christians happy and growing. We aren’t attempting to lure believers from other churches by having glitzier services and better programs. We’re starting with hard-core skeptics and trying to transform them into zealously committed disciples of Jesus.
And that’s really hard.
(REDISCOVERING CHURCH, Copyright 1995, Bill Hybels)
So, what is a Team?
1. A Team Begins With Relationships
We Are Meant Serve in Relationships
God’s very Identity is a reflection of relationship
God made man to have relationship with Him
God made woman to complete that relationship
That relationship was so important to God that, when the relationship was severed by sin, He took the initiative to restore that relationship
We are meant to be in relationships – we need each other
2. A Team is Unified
How wonderful it is, how pleasant, when brothers live together in harmony!
2For harmony is as precious as the fragrant anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.
3Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life forevermore. (The New living Translation)
Unity Is Not Conformity
A. Unity is not achieved by being alike
B. Unity is achieved by having the same purpose
1 Corinthians 1:10 - Let there be real harmony so there won’t be divisions in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.