Teamwork 2

Philippians 4:15 “Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.”

Journeying through life, pursuing your God-given and God-assigned purpose often leads to loneliness, isolation, and being completely misunderstood. We all know that is a part of the process. My question to you causes you to take a deep look inward and reflect on who has really fed into you during this journey; who has communicated with you, not judged you, assisted you, prayed for and with you? Who has fed you when you were hungry, clothed you when you were naked, visited you when you were imprisoned, even if it was only a mental imprisonment? Who?

Verse 3 of the same chapter in Philippians states: “I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 4 And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.”

As God begins to elevate each of you on this journey of life, know that many will come in the end but also think about who walked with you, fought with you, prayed with you, stood with you, believed with you, provided for you in the lean times, defended you, assisted you, and know that these are the people who you want to be a blessing to and as a part of your team.

There is a very familiar story called “The Little Red Hen”. I’m sure you’re familiar with it but to refresh your memory I will give you my version of it. You’re starting a career, school, a business, a ministry, excited and eager to do what you set out to do. The questions posed to many are—Who will help me by teaching me what I need to know? Who will help me by temporarily housing me as I pursue? Who will or has sown financially into my life? Who will help me by providing words of encouragement when I get weak, feel defeated, and want to give up? Who, when the funds are low and the debts are high and you feel like you want to just crawl in a hole somewhere, will help you? Who will introduce me to others who can help lighten my load? And the response is—Not I! Oh yes, emphatically and proudly stated—Not I!

So you trudge along year after year after year after year, falling down, getting back up, brushing yourself off, and starting over again. Often feeling dejected, rejected, and thoughts of quitting run through your mind on a daily or regular basis. You know that quitting is never optional. You realized at the beginning why you were doing what you were doing and that it was not going to be instantaneous or happen at a microwave speed but rather require some deep digging, lots of studying, putting in a lot of elbow grease but the end result would be well worth it. You saw it first in the spiritual realm and you know it will manifest in the natural realm with hard work, persistence, tenacity, being fully committed…you just know it will pay off…eventually. You begin with the end in mind.

Back to the story, so there are those that say “Not I” but that’s not the end of the story. In the conclusion of the story when the corn was planted, picked, pulled, and made ready for eating, the question became—Who will help me eat the bread? Everyone’s hands went up. Can you imagine that? After saying very proudly to you and any and everyone else within earshot, “I’m not going to help her/him” “Oh well she started it let her finish it” or better yet “Who do they think they are?” they then are ready to eat the bread with you. Go figure!

My message to you is twofold;  first do not harbor any ill-feelings against this group of people. The bible says for us to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who despitefully use us. My message secondly is when selecting people to be on your team, look at the ones that are tried and true and stick with those first and foremost.

Do not ignore those that come back and are ready to go the distance though. Realize that perhaps they too have been going through a period of preparation, although different from yours, God may have been preparing them for such a time as this. His ways are not our ways. Stay open to the possibilities that the person(s) may not have been ready yet to step up to the plate. Be open and receptive to embracing them and welcoming them back into the family unit. Yes, even those that initially said “Not I”! Is this a contradiction from the earlier writings? Not at all! Stay with those that are tried and true; just be receptive to others that may come back repentant and now willing to go the distance. Team work does make the dream work and contrary to the belief that we are totally independent and need no one; we are interdependent and need the village!

Parting words: In order to fully impact the kingdom and to reach many lost souls, to help those that are hurting, to achieve anything in life, more people, of the same mind in the Lord, can positively impact the lives of many not just in our small city/state/town but globally. Isn’t that what it’s all about for we who profess to be Christians? Not ego (Edging God Out), not pride, not possessions or material things (No one can take them with them when we each go home), not fame or fortune (people will build you up one day and tear you down the next) but rather changing, reaching, preparing and assisting the next generation to become warriors…to pursue their God-given purpose (whatever it may be) with passion.

Can I tell you something? It’s not about you or me, or any one of us, it’s about God! Remember that.

Next week I will provide practical steps to use in choosing your team members.