Summary: The greatest message that can prove that Jesus is real, that can draw others to the Lord, and bring about church enlargement is simply a body of believers working together in love and unity; a church that manifests and demonstrates TEAMWORK
During Jesus’ earthly ministry He gave us a model on how to do ministry work. Jesus approach to ministry was to select a team of people to work closely together to achieve a common goal. Though Jesus was God in human form, though He had all wisdom, knowledge and understanding, He didn’t go solo. He wasn’t a one man band or a lone ranger. He selected a team to be with Him, learn from Him, empower and then send out to do certain kingdom assignments (Matthew 10:1-16). At various points in Jesus’ ministry we see that His attitude to ministry or ministry style was that you can’t do it all by yourself, you can’t do it alone, you need people.
Many times when He went to minister to people, whether it was to teach the word, pray for someone, deliver someone that was sick or oppressed, He didn’t go alone, He went with His disciples (Mark 5:35-43, John 11:1-16). The day He prophetically rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, He wasn’t the one that got the donkey, cleaned it and put it in shape. He gave that assignment to His disciples (Matthew 21:1-7). When He had the last supper with His disciples, He wasn’t the one that prepared and served the meal. The disciples were given the assignment of preparing the supper (Matthew 26:17-24). When He was to be crucified and His heart was deeply sorrowful, He didn’t go alone to pray, He went with His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray (Matthew 26:37).
So one of Jesus’ key messages which He modelled, passed across and imbibed in His disciples during their three years of intensive discipleship training was that you need people. No matter how anointed and gifted you are, you can’t do it all by yourself, all alone.
But in the church today, you find that a lot of people have come to the conclusion that it’s better to do things by yourself. It is when you involve people that there’s a problem. There are three arguments for this:
ARGUEMENT #1: You can do things faster or get things done faster when it’s just you; other people have a way of slowing you down. Let me give us a practical example of this. A member has just had a baby or is sick in the hospital and the Pastor assigns you and two other people to go and visit and pray with the church member. For the purpose of that visit, you have been constituted into a team. You all agree on a day and time you will go and visit the member say Saturday at 10am. Your agreement and arrangement with these other two brethren is that they are to meet at your place for 9.45a.m latest 10am so you can set out by 10am and come back by 12noon as you have a very important appointment for 12.30p.m. Saturday comes, its quarter to 10 and no one has shown up. 10 o’clock comes and still no one has shown up. You start to call them and for the next couple of minutes you are frantically calling and they keep saying I’m on my way, I will soon be there. Eventually, the first person shows up at 11am. The second at 11.20am. Since you had promised the church member that you would see her that day, you still all set out to visit the person. But because you left later than planned, coupled with traffic on the road, you don’t get back till 1pm. So all your arrangements and plans for that day are disturbed. The 12.30 important appointment you had, you are late for and can’t meet up with again. Let’s be very sincere with ourselves, the next time the Pastor tells you to go with these same brethren to visit someone, are you likely to want to go with them?
A popular African proverb says “if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”. Because of situations such as the example just given, most people have concluded that I rather do things on my own or by myself. By the time I involve other people, they just end up slowing me down. The question to ask is which is more important, which is more profitable, to go fast or to go far? Which one will pay off in the long run getting things done fast or going far? There’s this common saying which I believe we are all familiar with that says “it’s not how fast but how well”. It’s not about how fast you get there, how quick you are to accomplish things but are you able to remain there when you get there. The fact that you were the first to get married amongst all your friends or the first to start your business doesn’t necessarily mean your marriage will be the best or your business the best. If you are the first to start a business and you don’t have good relationship with people can that business really go far?