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Summary: There were 5 men on the floor praying and fasting for God’s will. What do these 5 tell us about working together as a team for God? And what principles can help us change the world as they did?

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OPEN: Yesterday was “St. Patrick’s Day. So, in honor of that special day, I thought I’d share this video clip with you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8lEhiHw0Dg&feature=related From 4:04 to 6:17

What you’ve seen were just A FEW of the final minutes of the 1963 championship game between the Celtics (thus the St. Patrick’s day reference) and Lakers. The Celtics barely won 112 to 109 (which was a fairly high score considering the fact that there was no 3 point shots at the time).

That championship was one of 17 championships that the Celtics have won over the years, making them the winningest team in ALL of the NBA. In the 13 yrs. from 1957 til 1969, they won a record 11 of those championships, a 8 of those victories were consecutive - 8 in a row.

ALL this was accomplished under the coaching of Red Auerbach. Coach Auerbach formed the Celtics into team that dominated the sport of the day.

Now what was his secret?

What did his team do better than everyone else’s?

Was it their great players?

Well, yes they had great players, but so did other teams. This was the NBA. You didn’t get into the NBA unless you were a great player.

Was it their drive and ambition?

Yes, but other teams had drive and ambition, too.

There was one thing that stood out about the Boston Celtics of that day.

There was something the Celtics were known for that no other team in the NBA mastered as well as they did. Do you know what that was?

Teamwork.

Red Auerbach once said “everything we’ve done has been the result of PEOPLE WORKING TOGETHER to meet our common goals.”

His objective was to have 5 men out on the floor that worked together. Because he knew if he had 5 good men working together… they could win championships. And Auerbach paid his players more for what they could do to help team win than he did for their own personal accomplishments.

And that’s why they won repeated championships.

They worked together as a team.

Now this has always been God’s pattern for His church.

God has always meant for His people to be involved in a body of believers. To work together as a team. God never meant for Christians to be “grand standers”… to engage in a Lone Ranger kind of faith.

Now, there are people who will try to tell you they can be just as a good a Christian w/o church.

Have you ever heard someone say that?

Of course you have.

But they’re lying to themselves.

You can NOT do much for God if you not part of His church.

That’s just the way God set things up.

Just as a case in point: let’s consider Jesus’ ministry.

Now, who was Jesus?

He was God in the flesh!

He could do anything.

He could heal the sick, raise the dead, feed 1000s with 2 fish and 5 barley loaves.

And when He spoke, huge crowds would gather and be mesmerized by this Rabbi who spoke as no had ever spoke before.

And if things required a little extra power, well all Jesus would have to do is call down myriads of the angels of heaven to help Him.

Jesus could have done anything He wanted ALL by Himself.

But He didn’t.

Jesus spent all night one evening praying about the 12 men who would become His closest followers. And Jesus spent the next 3 years working side by side with those men.

Do you really think that Jesus NEEDED 12 men to help Him get the job done?

No, of course not!

He’s the Son of God!

But - maybe – Jesus did need those 12 men.

Maybe what Jesus wanted done called for teamwork.

And apparently it did… because Jesus NEVER sent His disciples out to do anything alone.

Mark 6:7 tells us that Jesus called “… the Twelve to him, he sent them out TWO BY TWO and gave them authority over evil spirits.”

And Luke 10:1 tells us that later “…. the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them TWO BY TWO ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.”

Jesus never called for His disciples to do anything all by themselves. Jesus always seemed to send them out in TEAMS.

Ecclesiastes may help us understand WHY Jesus did it that way.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

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