“TEAMWORK FOR BEST RESULT”              By Pastor YAU

Acts 13:1-5                                                        November 21, 2004

 

INTRODUCTION:  Although the compounded word “teamwork” is relatively new in everyday use, the idea or practice of team work is not new at all.  Both the Bible and everyday practice have a lot of examples on the importance of people working together for greater results. The Scripture quotation above is a good example of well organized teamwork between God, the Church and individual Christians working together to spread the gospel in the first century world. (Please read the passage before reading the article.)

 

PARTNERS IN TEAMWORK:  In this first planning session of world evangelization, God, the Church in Antioch and the people in that church all worked as a team to launch the first missionary adventure.  

1)      God, the STAR of the team: (13:2) God, through His Spirit, initiated the missionary endeavor. He is the first cause of the team. He moved and chose people to do His work. (John 15:16) He called Paul, and others, to be His servants, or apostles, to spread His salvation message. Without God, the First Cause, no one in any teamwork of missionary adventure will bear any fruit. (John 15:5)

2)      The Church at Antioch : (13:1) The Lord established His Church in earth for the advancement of His Kingdom. (Matt. 16:18) He is the Head of the church and the church is His body. (Eph. 1:23) Today, some Christians do not understand the importance of the Church. The Church is the bases of God’s work on earth.

3)      The PEOPLE in the Church:  (13:1) People in the Church of Jesus Christ are called by God, (Rom. 1:5-6) they are fellow workers with God in the building of God’s House, the Church. (I Corinth. 3:9)  If the people in a church are unwilling to work for God, there will be NO teamwork and therefore, NO results.

 

PEOPLE IN TEAMWORK:  The quality of the people who involve in teamwork for God’s cause determines the degree of results. Better the people, better the results.

1)      The Leaders: (13:1) Prophets are the equivalence of pastors in today’s church and teachers are leaders. These are the key people of the church. They are the frontline people of any teamwork or any endeavor, mission or others. Leaders set the tone of the church. They hold the line of how far the church may go or achieve.

2)      The Gentiles:  Lucius of Cyrene was a gentile, a man with no biblical background. He must be a new convert with little or no experience. Yet, he was part of the team. Many Christians use excuses like “I don’t know anything, I have no experience and I am an outsider, etc.”  If you never participates, how could you get experience?

3)      The NOBLES:  Manaen, a man raised on the same dining table with Herod, (the Tetrarch) was also part of the team. He must be rich, well educated, belonged to the high society. Yet he participated actively in the team of missionary sending. Today, some still feel that people with exceptional background, high education or rich with money or talents are too much for God’s work. How far we have departed from the principles set by God in His early church.

4)      The Youth:  John Mark, (13:5, 13) was the junior member of the team. He must be young, knowing nothing what to do, but he was with a fervent heart and was part of the team. He later left the team because of hardship, but he had Barnabas as his mentor to coach him, to give him a second chance and had become an important part of the first century missionary endeavor. Young people in any church needs to be active in God’s teamwork, be it in the church or out to somewhere. They are the future of God’s work.

 

PREPARATION FOR TEAMWORK:  (13:2-3) No teamwork may achieve desired results without proper preparation. Here are things they did before they started:

1)      Spiritual Preparation:  Worshipping the Lord is an act of seeking a close relationship with the Lord.  It means learning, studying and practicing His word. These are all foundational preparation all need to have in teamwork with God.

2)      Prepare with Prayer:  This is a symbol of seeking and searching the will of God when doing teamwork. This is also a sign of humility. Seeking God and His leadership in any endeavor is the foundation of success.

3)      Commitment Time:  Laying of hands in a commissioning service is a symbol of commitment both the sending and the sent. Both sides are committed to follow God’s plans in their mission journey or anything else. Commitment is an important element of any enterprise to bear results.

 

PURPOSES OF TEAMWORK:  (13:2-5) The phrase “PURPOSE DRIVEN” has become popular after books written by Rick Warren.  But the importance of purpose was there for thousands of years. Clear purposes set the goals for clear pursuits.

1)      GOD HAS CALLED:  (13:2) Teamwork in God’s church can only bring results to glorify God when the purpose is set by God.  All purposes of man or from man should not be included in God’s teamwork.

2)      FROM CALL TO ACTION: (13:3, 4) The team was sent to work. To be moved by the Holy Spirit is not that hard. To obey the call and step out to work is. Too often, we have the move in heart, but not enough move in our hands and feet.

3)      HIS MESSAGE: SALVATION: (13:5) While we all agree on the importance of meeting physical needs of the people, the supreme purpose of God’s call is to save souls through the proclamation of the gospel message in the Lord Jesus Christ. The ultimate need of man is his relationship with the eternal God through Jesus Christ.

 

CONCLUSION:   The Bible has set before us a pattern of TEAMWORK.  The example in Acts 13 was the pioneering success of missionary enterprises. How much do we know the parts, the people, the purpose and the preparation will determine how much we may achieve for the in His call.