Summary: Sermon looks at the importance of teamwork in any leadership setting.

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“Effective Leadership Requires Teamwork”

Acts 20:17-36

When the water begins to get rough and a change of direction is required, you quickly come to the realization of the importance of teamwork. A collection of individuals, each of whom is looking out for number one, will not be able to survive in the hostile waves of the world. That is exactly why thriving organizations are committed to moving everyone in the same direction regardless of the cost or consequences. There will always be those who disagree with the process or the plan, many of those individuals just are not yet able to see the vision. However, there comes a time when everyone must buy in. Team work comes to the forefront when you burn your bridges and everyone is committed to the overall cause despite their different opinions. Teamwork is the key to success in the local church. Under Christ, capable leaders with varying talents combine their efforts to carrying out the God given mission of the church. The ministry staff, leaders and the people sitting on the pews must work together in harmony for the local church to be successful in carrying out its mission. We live in an era of transition. In the midst of the rapid changes of direction taking place in our society, the church needs to realize that teamwork is as important as ever. Today I want us to take a very serious look at what is necessary to have an atmosphere of teamwork and the benefits of teamwork for the cause of Christ. Paul’s relationship and ministry with the church at Ephesus gives us some deep insight into this subject.

I. Paul and the leadership at Ephesus had a deep love for one another.

A. When individuals share in work, weariness, or worry they come to understand each other better and to love each other more.

1. Many commentators believe that Paul did his greatest work at Ephesus for two main reasons.

a. Paul spent more time in Ephesus than at any other church.

b. Paul and the Ephesians shared a deep love for each other.

2. The Ephesians had heard and tested Paul’s teaching. They watched him and he watched them.

3. Paul knew their weaknesses as well as their strengths and vice versa.

4. Paul was not one to work into his ministry gradually like a diplomat feeling his way. “From the first day” he gave himself unsparingly to the work of the Lord in Ephesus, for Paul was an ambassador and not a diplomat.

B. The love and devotion that the Ephesians and Paul shared for each other and the Lord provided a harmonious spirit for their work.

1. Paul served with great humility and tears to show his deep devotion to the Ephesians and the Lord.

2. God loves the church and will never bless a church where dissention exists.

3. In Proverbs 6:16-19 there is a list of seven things the Lord hates with a passion. Verse 19 addresses this subject with number seven on the list, “a troublemaker in the family.”

4. It is a dangerous thing to wound or divide the body of Christ, but where a spirit of harmony exists, the Holy Spirit flows and God blesses the church.

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