If we are going to be successful in a major endeavor we must learn one of the most powerful skills that anyone can have — team building. One of the Lord’s highest priorities when He walked the earth was to build His team. He gathered a core of future leaders who had to be joined to Him, and to one another. That is still one of His highest priorities in building His church, and therefore must be ours.
There are few truly great teams that can be built quickly. Certainly the Lord was the best at this than who ever was or will be. It took Him over three years to build His disciples into the team that would lay the foundation for His church. Of course, His church is to be His eternal bride, and such a lasting purpose demanded the most painstaking care in laying the foundation. Teams for short-term missions may be put together much faster. Even so, the greatness of our work on any level will be significantly affected by our skill as a team builder.
We have a goal in our local churches to see every man, woman, and child know their place in the body, and be equipped to function in it. We are doing this because the Word of God is clear that the New Testament ministry is given:
“for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” Ephesians 4:12-13.
Here it says clearly that these equipping ministries are given, “until we all attain . . . the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Is there anywhere on earth that a church has attained to that? If so, we must still give ourselves to the equipping of the people, but always keep in mind that our ultimate goal is to see all grow up into, “the measure of the stature which belongs to the ful,ness of Christ.” Teams are not an end in themselves, but an essential means.
As Ephesians 4 reveals, all New Testament ministry is meant to be a part of a team. All of these equipping ministries must function together for the proper equipping of the people. For these ministries to function together they must know each other. Then the team must go on to do as Proverbs 27:23 states, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds.”
This may seem elementary because the larger the flock, the more difficult it is to know the individual sheep very well. The larger the flock, the more important it is for the ministry to work together as a team, and for those within the congregation to be equipped to become a part of the team.
Hebrews 13:17 states that those who serve as leaders must keep watch over the souls of the people as those who will give an account. These are the Lord’s own people whom we have been given to watch over and serve. The greater number of people that we have been given authority or influence, over, the more we are going to need help. Our goal must therefore be to see each one that we have the responsibility to watch over become strong enough to be able to watch over others.
When the Lord gave His messages to the seven churches in Revelation, He ended each one with a call to the overcomers, which is one calling that every Christian has to be. True church life is meant to be on three levels: our individual relationships with the Lord, as families, and as a congregation. We must be overcomers in each area. Together these make a cord of three strands that is not easily broken. Therefore, as we are exhorted:
“Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?”
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.
Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were thus occupied were not benefited.
We have an altar, from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.
For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.
Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Hence, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Obey your leaders, and submit to them for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.
And I urge you all the more to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen,” Hebrews 13:1-21.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|