BUILDING THE TEAM
John 1:36-49, “ And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philipsaith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whenceknowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
When Jesus started his earthly ministry, he realized the strength in numbers, the first thing he did was to build of team of people that will help Him reach more people.
Christ left us an important way for us to carry out the great commission. But it is sad that many Christian leaders do not want to follow the part the Lord has left for us.
The best team of people you can build is in your church. Your people should be able to join your team. Using your church as your team to reach others for Christ is important to the growth of your local church. Jesus Christ could have carried out this great commission Himself, but why did he decide to build team?
It’s those stately geese I find especially impressive. Winging their way to a warmer climate, they often cover thousands of miles before reaching their destination. Have you ever studied why they fly as they do? It is fascinating to read what has been discovered about their flight pattern as well as their in-flight habits. Four come to mind.
1. Those in front rotate their leadership. When one lead goose gets tired, it changes places with one in the wing of the V-formation and another flies point.
2. By flying as they do, the members of the flock create an upward air current for one another. Each flap of the wings literally creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. One author states that by flying in a V-formation, the whole flock gets 71 percent greater flying range than if each goose flew on its own.
3. When one goose gets sick or wounded, two fall out of formation with it and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the struggler until it’s able to fly again.
4. The geese in the rear of the formation are the ones who do the honking. I suppose it’s their way of announcing that they’re following and that all is well. For sure, the repeated honks encourage those in front to stay at it. As I think about all this, one lesson stands out above all others: it is the natural instinct of geese to work together. Whether it’s rotating, flapping, helping, or simply honking, the flock is in it together…which enables them to accomplish what they set out to do.
Chuck Swindoll, letter, October, 1991.
1. THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBER
The next time a committee is appointed and the committee names several task forces to do its job, think of this story: To highlight its annual picnic one year, a company rented two racing shells and challenged a rival company to a boat race. The rival company accepted. On the day of the picnic, everyone entered into the spirit of the event. Women wore colorful summer dresses and big, floppy hats. Men wore straw skimmers and white pants. Bands played and banners waved. Finally the race began. To the consternation of the host company, the rival team immediately moved to the front and was never headed. It won by 11 lengths. The management of the host company was embarrassed by its showing and promptly appointed a committee to place responsibility for the failure and make recommendations to improve the host team’s chances in a rematch the following year. The committee appointed several task forces to study various aspects of the race. They met for three months and issued a preliminary report. In essence, the report said that the rival crew had been unfair.
“They had eight people rowing and one coxswain steering and shouting out the beat,” the report said. “We had one person rowing and eight coxswains.” The chairman of the board thanked the committee and sent it away to study the matter further and make recommendations for the rematch. Four months later the committee came back with a recommendation: “Our guy has to row faster.”
Bits and Pieces, September 19, 1991, p. 5-6.
Discouragement is inevitable in the work of God that is why we have much admonishing from the Bible about not giving up. And times will come, when you will not feel like doing it, or quitting. Sometimes, you will have to face opposition whether from the people you are talking to. It has happened in the Bible.
Acts 13:46, “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”
These wonderful preachers of the Gospel faced opposition in their soul winning effort, but they were bold together, and stand up for what is right together, they had strength together. And also when later Paul and Barnabas had a dispute and misunderstanding, he did not embark on the missionary journey alone, but he went with someone else in the person of Silas.
Luke 10:1-2, “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
Jesus Christ believes in team when he sent seventy people to go and evangelize the world, and they were not sent individually to get out to the people, but they were sent two by two, because there is strength in number. I believe that when local church team up, and go into their community, city, and country; their impact would be felt. Every church member is very important part of the team, and if you don’t help your pastor, it will hurt your local church’s growth. Working together as one will strengthen your soul winning effort because there is strength in number. It is easy to be discouraged alone than with the group.
Some people get this notion that, they will go soul winning on their own, and when they are convenient to do it. No, that is a blatant lie, you will not go. Most people that tell me this do not go soul winning at all. Christian, soul winning is not a church ideology for getting people to do what the pastor tells them to do, but it is a mandate giving to the church of God to reach the lost souls for Christ.
Act 13:2, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
We can also see the examples throughout the Book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas with their companions in the ministry, and later on, Paul and Silas. There will be times when you just don’t feel like going on, but others can lift you up. When Paul and Silas were apprehended by the people who hated the Gospel at Philippi, they both went into prison, and they started praising the Lord together, and were stronger together. Sometimes, it is tiring if you are the only standing for what is right, but when you are surrounded by likeminded people, you get strength, and confidence to keep on keeping on for Jesus Christ.
2. THEY CAN ACHIEVE MORE FOR CHRIST
Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;”
Adjective the people used to qualified the early Christians was not a good complimentary at all, they called them trouble makers, and they said they that turned the world UPSIDE DOWN
As a pastor of a church, if I only go soul winning alone without my church members’ help, he can only accomplished little for Christ than when we go in numbers, and it will take me many years before I get more done. They are people out there that you can reach that your pastor cannot reach them for Christ. It is not only you can win these people to Christ, but they will ever be grateful to you for showing them the way of salvation.
I went to Hyles Anderson College of West Africa, and I was trained by American missionaries, and they were about twelve families by the time I was in school. And God really used these people in spreading the Gospel throughout Ghana. And the church began to grow through their soul winning efforts, and zeal. They started running about 1000 people in less than three years of their missions work there. Ask me, how were they able to accomplish this? They used the team effort to reach many. There is more you can accomplish when you go soul winning in team than solo. Soul winning following this pattern will never lose sight of what God has called the church to do.
Together, we can make a different for cause of Christ.
There’s a wonderful story about Jimmy Durante, one of the great entertainers of a generation ago. He was asked to be a part of a show for World War II veterans. He told them his schedule was very busy and he could afford only a few minutes, but if they wouldn’t mind his doing one short monologue and immediately leaving for his next appointment, he would come. Of course, the show’s director agreed happily. But when Jimmy got on stage, something interesting happened. He went through the short monologue and then stayed. The applause grew louder and louder and he kept staying. Pretty soon, he had been on fifteen, twenty, then thirty minutes. Finally he took a last bow and left the stage. Backstage someone stopped him and said, “I thought you had to go after a few minutes. What happened?”
Jimmy answered, “I did have to go, but I can show you the reason I stayed. You can see for yourself if you’ll look down on the front row.” In the front row were two men, each of whom had lost an arm in the war. One had lost his right arm and the other had lost his left. Together, they were able to clap, and that’s exactly what they were doing, loudly and cheerfully.
Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 104-105.
3. TEAM WORK IS A BIBLICAL PATTERN
Going soul winning in team is a Biblical pattern. Throughout the Bible, you see Christians and Jesus Christ himself sending the disciples in group into the world. One person cannot make huge impact in the world, it takes the effort of a team, and a church is a team. When a church goes out into the world, then we are following the pattern that God has given. If pastor is the only one doing the soul winning, it is not encouraging, and there will be slow in the growth of the Gospel than if the whole church joins him.
Bees can show you something about teamwork. On a warm day about half the bees in a hive stay inside beating their wings while the other half go out to gather pollen and nectar. Because of the beating wings, the temperature inside the hive is about 10 degrees cooler than outside. The bees rotate duties and the bees that cool the hive one day are honey gatherers the next.
Bits & Pieces, September 17, 1992, p. 19-20.
Mat 10:5-13,“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come intoan house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.”
Jesus sent the twelve disciples out to preach the Gospel as they go. He did that so that we can follow the pattern on how the soul winning ought to be carried out as Church. Let me make myself clear, there is nothing wrong with you going soul winning alone by yourself, if you are motivated to do.
Acts 20:20-21 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is Paul, the apostle telling the Christians at Ephesus, how he went out from house to house testifying both to the Jews and to the Greeks to have faith in Christ. Paul used personal pronoun, “I”, and my question is, did Paul go alone?
Act 20:13-17, “And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot. And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene. And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus. For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.”
Paul had companion, and the team of people that were with him on his missionary journeys, and that is why he was able to accomplish much for the sake of Christ. And also he had companion on his first missionary journey too.
Act 13:13-15, “Now when Paul and HIS COMPANY loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. But when THEY departed from Perga, THEY came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”
We can see from these verses that Paul had a company of people that were with him in sharing the Gospel of Christ. It is a Biblical pattern on how church reaches out to the lost souls. Soul winning is not supposed to be whether I feel like or not, it is command that God wants us to obey.