Tuesday: Working in Teams
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

It is logical to think that there were times when each of the disciples would have shared their faith on a one-to-one basis, but for the most part we see them in a shared ministry with fellow disciples and being supported by other believers. There is something special about working on an overall plan and receiving support and encouragement from others on the team.

The Bible provides us with a blueprint for effective witnessing and evangelism, and it should not surprise us that, even today, when God raises up someone for a significant responsibility, He inspires a team to gather around the leader.

Read Matthew 10:2–4Mark 3:16–19, and Luke 6:12–16. What simple lesson can we learn from these lists?

Without question, the early believers worked together in groups. It makes a lot of sense. Besides each one having specific gifts and talents that others don’t, there’s also protection in numbers. There’s a sense of accountability: others are watching you, others can help guide you, others can help protect you from wandering into directions that tragically might lead you astray. A solid team of faithful brothers and sisters, each one looking out for the other, yet all with the common goal of soul-winning, presents the ideal way of doing outreach.

Read Philippians 1:5–18. What is there in Paul’s commendations to the believers at Philippi that indicates they were engaged in corporate witnessing and evangelism?  

At the beginning of his letter to the Philippians, Paul speaks of their fellowship (partnership, NIV) in the gospel (vs. 5). They had defended and confirmed the gospel (vs. 7) and had spoken the word of God without fear (vs. 14). He also shares his joy because Christ is continually preached (vss. 15–18). Remember, Paul is writing to the church, not to individuals. Of course, it would have been individuals who preached Christ, but the fact that Paul commends the church reveals that this evangelistic preaching was a corporate strategy.

Eager to witness, have you ever found yourself tempted in ways that being in a group could have protected you from? Why is it important to cultivate an attitude of humility and accountability if you are going to work with others in a group?

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Tuesday: Working in Teams — 1 Comment

  1. Matthew 10:2–4, Mark 3:16–19, and Luke 6:12–16. After reading the previous texts, what simple lesson can we learn from these lists? The body of Christ is composed of people from every walk of life. Functioning best if working together as a group.

    If you want to get a more in-depth understanding of the answer to this question Read 'The Desire of Ages'. Oh don't get your book down from the shelf today, I have selected the paragraphs for you, from the chapter just before the chapter titled the 'Sermon On The Mount'.

    Read these paragraphs from 'The Desire of Ages' with me.

    These were brought together, with their different faults, all with inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil; but in and through Christ they were to dwell in the family of God, learning to become one in faith, in doctrine, in spirit. They would have their tests, their grievances, their differences of opinion; but while Christ was abiding in the heart, there could be no dissension. His love would lead to love for one another; the lessons of the Master would lead to the harmonizing of all differences, bringing the disciples into unity, till they would be of one mind and one judgment. Christ is the great center, and they would approach one another just in proportion as they approached the center.

    When Jesus had ended His instruction to the disciples, He gathered the little band close about Him, and kneeling in the midst of them, and laying His hands upon their heads, He offered a prayer dedicating them to His sacred work. Thus the Lord’s disciples were ordained to the gospel ministry.

    As His representatives among men, Christ does not choose angels who have never fallen, but human beings, men of like passions with those they seek to save. Christ took upon Himself humanity, that He might reach humanity. Divinity needed humanity; for it required both the divine and the human to bring salvation to the world. Divinity needed humanity, that humanity might afford a channel of communication between God and man. So with the servants and messengers of Christ. Man needs a power outside of and beyond himself, to restore him to the likeness of God, and enable him to do the work of God; but this does not make the human agency unessential. Humanity lays hold upon divine power, Christ dwells in the heart by faith; and through co-operation with the divine, the power of man becomes efficient for good.

    He who called the fisherman of Galilee is still calling men to His service. And He is just as willing to manifest His power through us as through the first disciples. However imperfect and sinful we may be, the Lord holds out to us the offer of partnership with Himself, of apprenticeship to Christ. He invites us to come under the divine instruction, that, uniting with Christ, we may work the works of God.

    “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7, R. V. This is why the preaching of the gospel was committed to erring men rather than to the angels. It is manifest that the power which works through the weakness of humanity is the power of God; and thus we are encouraged to believe that the power which can help others as weak as ourselves can help us. And those who are themselves “compassed with infirmity” should be able to “have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.” Hebrews 5:2. Having been in peril themselves, they are acquainted with the dangers and difficulties of the way, and for this reason are called to reach out for others in like peril. There are souls perplexed with doubt, burdened with infirmities, weak in faith, and unable to grasp the Unseen; but a friend whom they can see, coming to them in Christ’s stead, can be a connecting link to fasten their trembling faith upon Christ.

    We are to be laborers together with the heavenly angels in presenting Jesus to the world. With almost impatient eagerness the angels wait for our co-operation; for man must be the channel to communicate with man. And when we give ourselves to Christ in wholehearted devotion, angels rejoice that they may speak through our voices to reveal God’s love. (DA 296.2-297)

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