Summary: Meant to help people hear the importance of being an “active” member in the Body and to make sure that they are participating as fully as they possibly can. A "diamond sermon," to be interspersed with songs, drama, testimony, and participation Dominan
Story – A loaded station wagon pulls into the only remaining campsite. Four youngsters leap from the vehicle and begin feverishly unloading gear and setting up a tent. The boys then rush off to gather firewood, while the girls and their mother set up the camp stove and cooking utensils. Nearby, a fellow camper is marveling at the scene. He says to the youngsters' father: "That, sir, is some display of teamwork." The father said, "I have a system. No one goes to the bathroom until the camp is set up.” (we did this as a video, with the set up at high speed)
There’s value in participation. The Bible speaks about a certain power in plurality.
Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 27:9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.
Matthew 18:19-20 "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." There’s something about more than one person being involved that lends effectiveness to even our prayers.
I notice that in the NT, there’s never just a single pastor at a church. By the way, that title is the same as elder or overseer – the elders are the pastors of the Church. Search the NT concerning that. And , as you do, see that there’s always a plurality. Why? Because the load is too much for one man; the task is too demanding for just one leader. And the wisdom of several spiritual men is greater than the limited wisdom and experience of just one.
This morning, I want to speak about participation, partnership, teamwork. Someone has aptly said that the word TEAM stands for “Together Everyone Accomplishes More.”
One way to understand that power of participation even better and to appreciate it even more would be to visit places where they’ve done that already. I want us to do that this morning – to take a trip to Participation Manor, if you will, and to take a peek in their windows there. I want us to look into that place and see what it takes to build it. I want us to see what happens, in a house, when we all put our hands together.
So, please picture it with me this morning: we’re in the front lawn, and there are 5 windows out front here where we’re going to do some peeking. Every window of the house is simply going to be another way that we learn the greatest achievements in the Body of Christ involve many hands working together.
The first window is a peek into
The Tower (Babel)
This window is tall and narrow because that’s the only way to see the tower. It started in Genesis 11. God wanted everyone to go ahead and move out into the post-flood earth and populate it. They wanted instead to stay and build a big city – and they did, a big city with a big tower. Look into this window and you’ll see it – only it’s unfinished and crumbling. It was quite an accomplishment, God said so in Genesis 11:6 - The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”
Even when it wasn’t for the right cause, people were able to accomplish a lot by working together. And that was the key: working together. When God wanted the work to stop He did it by introducing different languages, and everyone split up. When people weren’t together on the project, it stopped. It’s a negative example, but it’s one that shows the power of participation. What do we do about that? Right now, just go, “Hmmmm…” and let’s go look into the next window…
(Exodus 18) Poor Moses. A lot of you can relate to him. He’s a tired man. He gets up early, works hard all day, and comes home late, exhausted. Here wears a lot of hats, er, turbins. He’s in the middle of writing the first 5 books of the OT. And here lately he has been playing Judge Judy for the entire nation of Israel – that’s over 1 mil. people. All during the whole Exodus out of Egypt thing, his wife and 2 sons stayed back at her home. Now, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law is bringing his wife and 2 sons to him in the wilderness. Add that to his list of responsibilities. Every day, from start to finish, the people come to him to act as judge for them. They’re there all day. Jethro sees what it’s doing to him. It’s too much for one person. The job is too big…