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Finding the Right Partners, Part 1 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
September 15, 2021 8:00 am

Finding the Right Partners, Part 1 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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September 15, 2021 8:00 am

The role companions played in Paul’s fruitfulness in Corinth; the importance of interdependent relationships in the plan of God; based on Acts 18:1-11. (Included in the 6-part series Making Your Vision a Reality.)

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You can do what's in your heart, but you cannot do it alone. You can do it, but you can't do it by yourself. You are gonna need partners. There is no anointing that will allow you to do everything that's in your heart by yourself. Jesus had them, so did Moses, King David, and the Apostle Paul. Finding the right partners on today's Destined for Victory.

Hello and thanks for tuning in. Well, the Apostle Paul spent three years in virtual solitude, a training period in which he learned how to be a disciple of Christ by none other than the risen Christ himself. But when it came time for Paul to go out and do the task for which God had called him, he surrounded himself with like-minded partners who shared a common goal. You need partners too, but it's important to find the right partners and that's what today's message from Pastor Paul Shepherd is all about. Stay with us here or visit to listen to this or any recent message on demand. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, finding the right partners. Paul, by vocation, by trade, was also a tent maker. So, when he hooks up with them, he joins their team and he makes himself some money while he's in Corinth by helping them in the tent making trade. Which means not all ministry efforts are going to allow you to be solely vocational in that one area.

For some of the things that are in your heart, you may be bivocational. That's the way Paul was in this season. He made his money by making tents, working with Priscilla and Aquila. For this season, that was the way he earned his income while he's in Corinth beginning to build relationships and preach to people about the Lord Jesus Christ.

You see, two partners he has linked up with, Priscilla and Aquila. Look at verse five of Acts 18. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul then was able to devote himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. Then, after his other companions, Silas and Timothy came, they took up the money making and they allowed him to be free to exclusively fulfill his calling.

But notice, it didn't happen that way right away. At first, he had to work full time, we would call it, and then minister as he had opportunity. A lot of the things that are in your heart may not be vocational, may not be paying jobs for a season, either a short season or a long season or maybe your entire life.

Again, you might be a volunteer in some ministry, helping them fulfill their vision. It might not always mean that you can make money from it, but Paul knows what it's like to have to work a regular job and then minister as he could. But the partners made that possible. Priscilla and Aquila made that possible for him to work with them while he was getting it done. And then later on, two more partners, Silas and Timothy, come along and they allow him to be freed up from the tent making so he can spend his days connecting with people, beginning to share with Jesus. Then, of course, on the Sabbath, we are told in verse 4, every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue trying to persuade Jews and Greeks about who Jesus was.

And that's the way it is. I know, I know about that part of the journey. When I first started on the ministry team as a volunteer in our church, I still had to work. After high school and after college, I still had to work. I was just volunteering. When I taught Sunday school, they weren't paying me for that. When I was working, helping, being an associate minister, they weren't paying me for that. The old saints taught you to prove yourself first. And we got to get back to that. We got a generation of folk, not sure, but other people I know, who if they do anything, they want a little.

How much does that pay? And I don't come from that generation. We were taught, you make foolproof of your ministry because it's a calling, not because you can get something out of it. I started preaching in little churches, and I'd have to do these little Sunday afternoon services. Y'all been to church where they have like a 3.30, 4 o'clock service, and a little handful of folk come out for the Usher's Day.

They'd call it the Usher's Day, and them Usher's would have, and then they'd march. Come on, some of y'all church folk. They'd march on in, and I'm sitting up there in the big chair. You know, you preach at those churches where the speakers sit in, look like a throne. I'm sitting up on the throne, and they marching in for their annual Usher's Day. And finally, they get to me, and I preach my message. And after I would preach, before they would dismiss, somebody would always come up with a little envelope.

One of the Usher's would come up with the envelope and call, and how are we going to call on our guest speaker to come up and not stand up there. And they all had the same speech. I don't know where they went to learn this speech. Some of y'all can say it with me right now. They say, we're not trying to pay you for your ministry, but we thank you for taking the time to come to us here at Greater Ebenezer.

Come on, some of y'all. Greater Ebenezer, Church of God in Christ, Episcopal. Oh Lord, hold my mule while I shout, Baptist Church.

And we really appreciate you coming. And then they say, this is just a token, token of our appreciation. And when I go back to my seat, I'd stick it in my pocket, wait till services over, I'd get to my car, and I'd open it up, and I saw they were not trying to pay me.

No, they weren't playing. They were not trying to pay me. I later learned from my dad, he said, that's why I sent you to them kind of churches. Sometimes they would ask him to preach, and he said, no, I'm busy, but I'll tell you what, I'll send you my son.

And he would pick out the cheap engagements, send me on out there. I didn't know it, but I was being trained. I was being trained, because if you can't be faithful over the token of appreciation.

I'm trying to help somebody. If you can't be faithful with the token of appreciation, God's going to see to it you never get to the place where you can get seriously. I preach at places now where I get seriously hooked up, where I look at the check, I say, I ain't preached that good.

I know the message was the bomb, but man. But you know, I only got there after I had learned from my daddy's training that you don't preach for money. You preach to get your calling fulfilled.

We grew up as associate ministers in our church, you know, they'd send you anywhere. Just give a little five-minute exhortation in the middle of prayer meeting. And you'd be like, well, where's my spot where I'm going to really be able to preach for 30 minutes? No, no, no, start with the five minutes and be on time.

Don't have us looking at the clock. And they would teach you, don't stretch out on me now, don't say, well, the Holy Spirit telling me to say something else. You ever heard a speaker disrespect what the people asked him to do?

You ever seen that? Well, they told me that I was only supposed to take 20 minutes, but I got four more points and I believe God. You're in the wrong church because there's some churches you better not pull that. I've been to churches where they sat the preacher down. Just get up.

I mean, he in high gear, too. They say, all right, pat him on the back. All right, you're done.

You're done, it's over. God bless. Let's praise the Lord for this message. So you might have to start out volunteering, just doing whatever you can. Some of you have something in your heart and you don't know how to do it. And if you have mentors in your life or you can find the mentors, you've got to get up under them and let them teach you everything they know.

There are some people who will train you for free if they see your hunger. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Sheppard, Senior Pastor Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Listen to the broadcast on demand at That's And there you'll find a host of great resources at our online store. When you study the life of Christ, you see him feeding the multitude from time to time.

4000 here, 5000 there. One thing all those people had in common, they were hungry. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, finding the right partners. Some people will help you do what you feel called to do.

And if they see hunger, they'll take hunger as your tuition. I know I've been blessed to know many people who will mentor you effectively just if you're hungry enough. Because what we who are now, those who master a particular craft or we've learned it, whether we learned it in school, in business school, graduate school or business or something, or like me, I became a CEO along the way. I studied and trained along the way. I read good books. I read behind the Jack Welshes and the people who know how to do it.

I didn't get to go to biz school, but I pastored enough biz people and they've given me some good pass. You need to read this. And I did that and you learn some of the same stuff. And if you are hungry enough, they'll feed you for free. But what people who master something don't want to do is try to feed you and you're not even hungry because you're full of junk. In this season of my life, I'm just tired of people who aren't ready to learn, aren't ready to submit, aren't ready to glean what I got in me. I got stuff in me that will bless you for the rest of your life. But if you full of junk and full of yourself and got to be your way, you're not going to get this treasure. I'm preaching good, you just don't know it. One day someone's going to succeed me in this ministry and I promise you it's going to be somebody who was so hungry, either directly under me or they're under somebody else right now and eventually God will marry us together. But it's got to be somebody who's hungry. This church was birthed in a hunger to do the will of God at the lowest point in my life.

I knew that God said when I bring you through this season, I'm not done with you and I need you to get back out there and fulfill what I put in your heart. And I had to be hungry enough to turn my ear away from the naysayers. Hungry enough to stop listening to what people thought. I had to be hungry enough to get in the face of God and say, Lord, all we want to do is hear you say, well done, good and faithful servant.

Wanted to go somewhere else in the country. God said, no, I'm not done with you in California. We wanted to just transfer your anointing somewhere else, please, where it's easier, where your haters and detractors aren't hunkered down.

Man, when you have to build in the presence of your enemies, that's not easy stuff. And I said, Lord, the church over there, they got a campus and they want me to be the pastor. I won't have to build nothing, Jesus, the campus is there. The church in Louisiana called me and said, would you be our candidate? My wife saw that letter, she said, oh, Louisiana. She said, I think I could get in the southern life.

I already like Cajun food, I believe. But we know God said, no, not done with you. So you got to get back in there and build all over again. Let me tell you something, some of you have something in your heart, but you're going to have to find folk who can help you, partners who can mentor you, partners who can teach you. Some of you will have to get some formal training.

Some of you will have to go to some vocational training environment, whatever it is. And you're going to have to lay the foundation. And people like me in your life, we can encourage you, lay the foundation.

You know, that being faithful over a few things doesn't feel great. That can be tiring and tedious, but it's preparing you. You'll have to study when other folk are goofing off, but it'll be preparing you.

Your friend, your old raggedy friends come out, yeah, we going, we going to Applebee's and we going to watch the game. I can't watch the game, I got to study. I got to pray or I got to think through, I got to read this.

I got to learn how to create a business plan. You got to do some work. You know, you can't go to bed a blunder and wake up a wonder.

Got to get your work done, got to get it in. When you see these great basketball players and they're, you know, just amazing, they didn't just wake up and shoot like that. They spent hours and hours, not when you're watching them, when nobody's watching. Told you, when I was a young man, my best friend was training so his dream was to be in the NBA. He signed the NBA contract.

He died of a heart problem at the age of 23. But when he was training, he'd come by my house and say, come on, let's go shoot. And he would come pick me up.

We'd go drive to some gym because folk who have resources are looking for hungry folk. And there was a gym owned by a man who knew he was hungry to be a pro. And he gave him the key to his gym. He said, whenever you want to, after hours, he ran a youth program during the day. But at night, he said, whenever you want to, you can go.

Whenever we're not in there, you're just going to let yourself in and lock it when you're coming out. And he drove me to some gym and went there. He said, all right, I got to get my wind up so we're going to play one-on-one full court. .

Pardon me? One-on-one full court. He said, I won't D you up. I'll meet you down there where you got to shoot. He said, but I want you to D me up line to line and try to take the ball, what have you. And I'm just playing my best defense. I'm running down, and he'd shoot. And he said, and if mine touches the rim, it won't count. He says, got to swish. If I shoot and make it, but it bounces around the rim, he said, I won't count that. Because he was going for something at another level. And so after about his third trip down, I'm ready for a break.

No, no, no, no, uh-uh, no time out. And he ran my tongue out. That's why I told him, when you sign this contract, we both spending some money, just so you understand.

Just so you understand, we both going to be broke off. But he was working toward a vision that was in his head. He knew when he got where he was going. And his friends, I grew up in Philly, his friends were pro ball players and semi-pro ball players and the greatest college players in that part of the country.

He knew them all. So one Saturday, he's like, come on, come on, me and Reggie Theus going to go shoot. Back in the day, Reggie played, he was a star player for the Bulls, y'all don't know, but trust me. And another time, we go out and he say, yeah, me and Jellybean, we going to play. So Jellybean, he said, yeah, him and Kobe Bryant's father, Jellybean Bryant, that was his nickname.

And he played for the Sixers. Yeah, me and Joe going to go shoot. And I just got to sit and watch all that.

And it was wonderful when he played them because I wasn't getting my tongue run out. And I just watched and they would go hard, hard, hard, hard. What's happening? They got a vision. And they know that to bring that vision to reality, you can't be sitting around dreaming about how much money you going to spend one day when you got a contract, you got to put in the work and the time. And the same is true for you.

The principle is true for you. Whether what's in your heart is a volunteer thing or a business you have to establish or a certain career change that you have to be part of, you're going to need partners. Do you hear the partners in the stories?

Partners, you can't get there by yourself. You got to find the people. You got to ask the questions. The dumbest people are the people who do the most talking without asking questions. I've learned that over the years.

The smart folks spend their time asking questions. Jesus at age 12 was sitting in the temple and the Bible specifically says he was asking questions of the temple leaders. Jesus didn't go in there at age 12 and say, you know who I am, don't you?

And the matter 18 years, all y'all going to know my name, I'm going to be the He didn't at age 12. He's in the season where you got to listen, where you got to learn. You who don't like to read, you're going to have to read anyhow. You don't have to like it, just get the information in you.

You're not going to find an audio book for everything. We're trying to help you now because we've trained, especially in our culture, we tend to make people think there are shortcuts. I'm here to tell you there's not always a shortcut.

You're going to have to go the long route sometimes. We got a sister over here. She's an actress. I went and saw her when she was in Cinderella. I thought she was just one of our members, just hanging out here on the praise team. But I went and saw her, she was the evil step-mama. And she sang a song, I'm a bad mama. I remember that song.

But you know what? You don't learn how to act by saying, one day I'm going to be just like Angela Bassett. You learn by getting in little plays, finding little ways, make your way. You got to make it happen. It's not going to happen automatically. You don't start out. Look at all these people's stories, who are your favorite actors or actresses.

Many of them started out waiting tables at a restaurant so that they could go somewhere and take acting courses from somebody who wasn't impressed with them. You see what I'm saying? That's what you're going to have to do, partners. Paul built the church at Corinth on this particular occasion, and what he started out doing when he first got to town, he was making tents and just connecting with people as he could. But those are all the building blocks, and building blocks get it done.

Don't spend your time dreaming dreams without doing the work of laying a foundation. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message, finding the right partners. Look for any of Pastor Paul's recent messages online, on demand, at Once again, that's And Pastor Paul joins me now from his studio in California. Pastor, your ministry to us each day on the radio and with the various online sources of Destined for Victory is so encouraging. And one more thing that you do, and you feel very strongly about this, is the monthly encouragement letter that goes out to everyone. You want to talk about that for a moment?

Yeah, absolutely. The one letter I feel strongly about making sure we produce every month is an encouragement letter. And so I take some time and based on some teaching of that month, and occasionally it's not related to the teaching, just something that God's put on my heart in that particular time, I write a letter to let people know not only are we preaching messages, but we're really trying to impact your life and help you with application. Because again, our ministry exists to help people know God's Son, apply God's Word, and fulfill God's purpose. And my encouragement letter is designed to help you know Him, apply His Word, fulfill His purpose. And so I feel strongly about it. And I want to encourage people who are not on our mailing list to please take a moment and let us know, hey, I'd love to get the letter. It's absolutely free of charge. There's no obligation for it.

No obligation at all. We will take care of the stamp and everything. All you've got to do is let us know. We can reach you. We'd be happy to send it to you. We can also send it to you by email. And it's important for you to be encouraged month by month.

And so please let us do that. Get in touch with us. Give us your email and your mailing address so we can get in touch with you on a monthly basis. Well, the word encouragement means to give someone support, confidence, or hope, sometimes all three. That's what Pastor Paul seeks to do each month with these letters of encouragement. Sign up today at, and I think you'll be glad you did it. Destined for Victory exists only through your prayers and faithful financial support. And when you make a generous gift today, be sure to request a booklet from Pastor Paul based on his message, Junk Removal for the Soul. This is our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to us at Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again, that address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. Partners are so important that even if you run into people problems with some of your partners, you still need to let God help you raise up some more. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, Finding the Right Partners. Until then remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-22 22:52:31 / 2023-08-22 23:02:26 / 10

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