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How to Be a Good Team Player - Life of Paul Part 56

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
December 14, 2020 7:00 am

How to Be a Good Team Player - Life of Paul Part 56

So What? / Lon Solomon

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You know when it comes to building a strong and effective organization as we start our film clip from the four feathers. The military learned a long time ago that it's all about team. It's all about the man on our left and the man on our right to paraphrase the country song the military was building team when building team wasn't cool. Not today.

That's all we hear about in our modern world is team the government talks about industry talks about it. We have, and even churches and schools to talk about team team is gonna become the magic elixir of the 21st century. In fact, I was reading an article of several weeks ago in Sports Illustrated about the Anaheim Angels.

You remember them they were the guys won the World Series without a single highly overpaid superstar in the article was all about how the Angels rediscovered the power team how they prove once again that a good team can exert an influence way beyond just the solve of its individual part that this is what I want to talk about today because you see here McLean Bible Church well we have a mission just like the Anaheim Angels did their mission was to win the World Series. Our mission is to rock Washington DC for Jesus Christ, but just like they were to get the job done.

We have to build a powerful, effective team and focus teams are only as powerful and effective as the number of good team members that make up that team and so today I want to talk to us about being good team members of the church team and industry team a government team. It doesn't matter.

These principles work anywhere but I especially want to apply them to being part of this McLean Bible church team and we want to use the apostle Paul's life is our classroom once again. So he got a Bible, how about opening it with me to ask chapter 18 acts 18 and were to be coming there just a moment just before we look at our past visits to a little bit of review. Remember, the apostle Paul is on his second missionary journey. Let's show you a map and remember the apostle Paul crossed over from the city of Truax as here in Northwestern Turkey went to Philippi in northern Greece then to Thessalonica and Berea in northern Greece and every one of the cities he led thousands of people to Christ established churches. Then he went to Athens South to Athens where he preached of the intellectual elite of the Roman world and now as we pick up the story.

He's here in Corinth. Well it's interesting to me that so many people who read the New Testament and read about the apostle Paul that they have this attitude that the apostle Paul was a lone ranger win as I've been trying to show you for months now. Actually, nothing could be farther from the truth. The apostle Paul was a fabulous team builder and when he crossed over from Truax as into Greece.

The apostle Paul had with him a three-man team of dynamic proportions. Their names were Silas, Timothy and Dr. Lou now just for the sake of review.

Let's make sure we understand who these three guys were that were part of this team. Silas was a Jewish believer who'd been living in Jerusalem, and Paul met Silas when he went to Jerusalem for the Jerusalem Council of acts chapter 15 after Barnabas and Paul split. Paul recruited Silas to go with him on his second missionary journey and so Silas was actually an initial partner with Paul on this journey that we have Timothy Timothy was a young man that Silas and Paul met at the beginning of the second journey in the city of Lidstrom Timothy had a Jewish mother had a Gentile father. He was highly educated and the best part of all is, he was already a believer who was well-versed in the Scriptures while they picked up Timothy and then finally the last member of the team joined up at Truax as just before Paul and the team crossed over degrees. His name was Lou. As a matter fact he was Dr. Luke. He was a physician who practiced medicine there in the city of Truax as we don't know for sure whether or not he was a believer before he met Paul or whether he and Paul ran into each other one day down at Starbucks and they sat down at a coffee together and Paul leading the Christ.

We don't know. But one thing we do know is when Paul set sail for Greece, Dr. Lou, sign over his Dr. shingle that said gall and preach in any never came back again as a matter fact Luke accompanied Paul for the rest of his life all the way to his death in Rome in 66 A.D. and wrote Luke.

The book of acts the account. Of course of Paul's life that were studying right now.

This was the team that Paul had put together and as we pick up the story. Let's go back to our map. Acts 18.

Just to remind you Paul has left Dr. Luke here in Philippi he's left Silas and Timothy in Thessalonica and Berea left them behind to care for the fledgling believers and the infant churches that establish their and he actually arrives in Corinth by himself.

Okay, now we pick up the story.

Chapter 1 verse one. Rather, of chapter 18 it says and after this Paul left Athens and went to court and there he met a Jew named Tukwila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Emperor Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave row. Paul went to see them in because he was a tent maker as they were. He stayed and worked with them in every Sabbath every Saturday he would reason in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jewish people and Gentile people to believe in Jesus that these verses tell us that when Paul first arrived in Corinth that he went to work. He went to work Monday through Friday, making tents, supporting himself, and he would preach on the weekend. Now it's interesting to also notice here that for the entire 18 months that Paul stayed here in Corinth. He and his team were self-supporting for the entire time they never took a single done Darius from the believers who were there in town is there, why not well the answer is that Paul knew the people in this town. He knew that if he accepted money from the believers. There that the people in this town would question his motives. They would impugn his character and so to protect his integrity, and more importantly to protect the integrity of Jesus Christ.

Paul and his team never took a dime from anybody in Corinth.

They supported themselves the whole time they were there is a well non-US amazing that the apostle Paul could've made the impact that he did on this city just being a weekend preacher well he wasn't a weekend preacher. Most of the time that he was there. Look at verse five verse five says and when Silas and Timothy arrived in town from Macedonia that is from Berea on Thessalonica. Paul was able to devote himself exclusively. We would say full-time to preaching now. Got a question for you. My question is if the apostle Paul never took a dime from the believers there in Corinth. If he and his whole team were self-supporting, and is, as verse five says Paul stopped working. Stop earning money personally. My question is how did he and his team pay their bills for the 18 months. They were in that the answer is very simple.

They pay their bills because Silas and Timothy went to work so that the apostle Paul could preach Monday through Friday. That's the answer to the question, Silas and Timothy, as a matter of fact we find in first Thessalonians 2. The Bible tells us that everywhere Paul went on his second and third missionary journey just team members would routinely go to work so that he would be free to do the work of God to preach and teach the Bible all week long that what we see demonstrated here is what I want us to get for the day.

But today and that is namely, that the great effectiveness of the apostle Paul on his missionary journeys.

The fact that he was able to lead thousands and thousands of people to Christ. The fact that he was able to establish churches everywhere he went. The fact that he was able to lay a spiritual foundation that would eventually change the history of the whole Western world. What was responsible for this incredible level of impact that Paul had was not just Paul's talent. He was a very talented man but what was responsible was not just Paul's anointing from God. He definitely had one of those.

But what was responsible just as much with his team of godly man that was with him without this team of godly men who, among other things, went to work so that Paul could preach all day. Paul could never have achieved what he did on his missionary journeys. Does everybody see that hello Sita okay I mean I know it's daylight savings we can you guys a little groggy but I was one picture you with everybody sees that right okay good. Now that's as far as I want to go in the passage because it's time for our question and you all know our question) we go are already 123 right for Launcelot grade. I mean I am happy for Paul. He had a wonderful team, you know. Yet it was a make me well to see if we can make that connect for you. You know the history is known some great team, I mean there's been turnaround who share, of course, there's been no Butch Cassidy and Sundance.

There's been some of us old folks remember VN. Sure about Anthony and Cleopatra others Kobe Bryant and Shaq brought. Here's one for you there's Morpheus Trinity and very good was wrong with arresting people Neil Nino's answer. You didn't see the matrix is wrong with you people, not to do with you guys are so pale great teams in history but but you know what in all of human history. I don't think there's been a more powerful or more effective team than the one that was the apostle Paul had Silas Timothy Dr. Luke. What a team and friends in certain surprises because the Bible tells us that God designed his work to operate best on the basis of team the greatest church is the greatest missionary outreach is the greatest campus ministries in history have all been about team which means that his followers of Jesus Christ. You and I here today. God wants us to be good team members because the more good team members that a ministry has, the more effective and powerful that ministry can be for God and his glory. So here's the question I want to close with today. What made these three men such great team members so that you and I can copy these of these qualities an enemy to say. As we look into this.

Let me remind you that if you're a follower of Jesus Christ here today and you call the claim Bible church or church home.

You are a team member. The claim Bible church that the only question is whether or not you were good team member, but you are team member and our goal is to make you the greatest team member you can possibly be. If you're hearing you go to some of the church pay. We want you to be the best team member, you can be at that church. So what is it take to be a great team member so the team can have a powerful influence for Jesus Christ weather for qualities I see in these guys let me tell you what they are number one. These men were trustworthy people listen to what Paul says about Timothy in Philippians 2 he says I hope to send Timothy to you soon, for I have no one else like him.

A person who will genuinely look out for your interests. For everyone else looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know of Timothy's proven record know what is the apostle Paul really saying about Timothy hear what he saying is Timothy is a man I know I can trust and it's obvious Paul felt the same way about Luke and about Silas. This is why Paul was willing to leave them in charge of these new believers in charge of these baby churches like he did because he believed with all of his heart he could trust these three men, that they would do the right thing, friends, trustworthiness is probably the single most important ingredient in being a good team member. This is why the military seeks to engendering to every member of every team this deep and abiding sense of mutual trust your life in my head my life in your hands you're watching my back. I am watching your back, our lives are connected together. It utterly in a mutual trust relationship and the military does this because they know that this is the secret to building a powerful team. Likewise, the most important ingredient that you and I can bring to a church team a spiritual team, a ministry team is this ingredient called trustworthiness. My team members can trust me they can trust me to keep my word. They can trust me to conduct myself in an honorable godly way so that I don't embarrass the team and I don't embarrass the Lord Jesus. They can trust me to tell the truth to be a person of full disclosure to live in the light and not in the darkness they can trust me to always speak well of other members of the team. They can trust me that they never have to worry about their 6 o'clock. While I'm around because I got their 6 o'clock. This is how you build a great team with team members that you can trust and this is the kind of team member God wants you and me to be number two. Why were these guys. Such great team members because number two. They were humble man who had true servant attitudes that I think about it for a moment.

Silas okay or your Timothy for months now you've been up in Thessalonica. You been up and bury up. Paul hasn't been around you been holding the work of God, there together all by yourself. You been preaching you been teaching you been counseling you been evangelizing you been providing leadership for the church is there. You been holding and discipling believers together you been facing a hostile mob and now suddenly you arrive in Corinth you're reunited with Paul and Paul says hey fellas, I got this really strategic thing I need you to do for the sake of our ministry and you go yeah Paul what he wanted to do and Paul says I want you to go out and get a job you go one you will not get a job guys, so that I am free to go, preach and teach all we call now, don't you think it might cross your mind if you were Silas and Timothy to go hey wait a minute to minute, you not only Gothic and preterm. Do you not going to continue top. We we met up in Thessalonica. Maria doing a very fine job. Thank you. Without your help. I come you only guile gets to go preach and teach how to go to work so you go out there and do this year.

They might've thought that no friends I'm very impressed with the fact that the Bible knows nothing about this that the Bible does it indicated all that they complained that they argue that they jockeying for position they resisted many way. I'm impressed that they said hey you know what Paul is obviously the best breach of the best teacher. The best evangelist we've God and if we have to go do manual labor.

So our team can put its best foot forward that I no problem that this is humility and what this teaches us is that a great team member is a team member that has humility friends, it is impossible to build a good team with arrogant team members.

It is impossible now the Lord Jesus knew this is why he said that he commented to this. Luke 22 is that I am among you as one who serves. He said in Matthew chapter 20 I didn't come to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many friends in the same way, great team members or men and women who serve no task is to menial job is to dirty. No assignment is too lowly. These are people who derive real joy from serving Christ and serving other people. That's a great team member and that the people around which you can build a great team. By the way, before we go on, let me just take a moment saith you're here and you never trusted Jesus is your real and personal Savior. Remember what Jesus just said. He said I came to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many friends you know what a ransom is a ransom is a price somebody pays to liberate somebody else and if you're here today it's important to be reminded that Jesus paid the price to liberate you and me from the judgment of God. The price that he paid was his own life.

She was his own blood shed on the cross. And if you've never accepted that ransom. My question to you is one why wouldn't you take the greatest golfer ever made. The Jesus wants to ransom you from the judgment of God, and it doesn't cost you a thing a stop to think about what is going on, what else may these guys great team members. Third is these three guys were men who put the welfare of the team ahead of self. Remember what Paul said about Timothy to Philippians 2 for I have no one else like him. A person who will genuinely look out for you, or interests for everybody else looks out for their own interest, not those of Jesus Christ and you don't want any team. There are always situations that come up where the interests of the team in the interests of self begin to diverge. That always happens and friends. At that point we have to make a decision whose interests are we going to put first to put the interests of the team first or we go to put the interests of self first and and what I'll I love about these guys. Silas Timothy Luke is that they made the choice to put the interests of the team first.

These guys everywhere they went with Paul. You never see them promoting themselves. You never see them want to be big shot. You never see them worried about advancing their own personal careers or expanding their own personal influence. The only passion they had was the welfare of the team know it takes a unique person to make those kind of decisions. And that's what made these guys such great team members anyone of us here who's grown up with a godly, caring mother. We've seen this very attribute of being a great team member on display in space right in our all communities of the ladies will stay up with you all night when you're sick, even though they have to be up at the crack of dawn to go to work these of the ladies who give you the last $20 bill out of their wallet. These of the ladies who let you have the last piece of pie. Even though we all know they really wanted a little knotted really wanted what you know they do but to let you have these in the ladies who wear the same clothes year after year so that you can have new clothes to go to school with these of the ladies who day after day after day put the needs of the team the needs of the family ahead of their own wants ahead of their own needs.

This is what a great team member does friends want to be a great team member to do what your mama do, and you go to be a great team member they put team. I had a cell death with Silas, Timothy, Luke. That's what a great team member.finally, number four would may these guys. Such great team members is that they were willing to make personal sacrifices to advance the mission of the team. You remember Silas got beat up with Paul up in Philippi was willing to let himself be beat to a pulp and thrown in jail. Then there's making some personal sacrifice Timothy went with Paul and his whole career. Every time we find Paul suffering we find Timothy right alongside of them suffering along with the Dr. Luke accompanied Paul even to his death and role he was shipwrecked with the he spent two years caring for him in jail in Jerusalem and then years in Rome, caring for him in jail. There, I mean these were men, all three of them who exhibited the very same team attitude and that is they were willing to make personal sacrifices in order to advance the mission of the team that's a great team member will have a guy come in my office a couple weeks ago and that when you when you make an appointment with me. You know you come and talk about anything we talk about the price of your stocks are with the NASDAQ winter your hobby on the Autocare you got 1/2 hour you talk about whatever you want to say came in to talk to me in and he said I sat down he said what he said I just want introduce myself, my wife and I would be members of the church her for a while is that were moving to Europe my job. I'm getting transferred to Europe and I thought you know it's wonderful to miss you and he said, and so we had to decide what we do with our house here in Northern Virginia and he said logic unit would dictate that we keep our house and rent our house so we stay in the Washington housing market and I said yeah you know, sounds reasonable to me. He said, but he said we made a $100,000 pledge to building for life that friends let me just tell you I have no idea whose made pledges to building for life or how much they are never see that material and I don't ever plan to see it. So this was news to me how Michael really is that I made $100,000 pledge to building for life is that of my wife and I realize moving to Europe like this. We were never going to be able to fulfill that pledge by June 2004 two. He said we began saying how we going to pay that and so he's here's what I did. He said I want you to know we made the decision we sold our house and we took $100,000 out of the proceeds of selling. I'll because it's the only way we could figure out to get the money. And here he hands me this check $400,000 and since we just figured we trust God and if we ever move back to Washington. Jesus will take care of us get back in the housing market here $700,000 to this along what you really saying here. You say you want all of us to go sell our house and give $100,000 building program well honestly that would help but but no no no, I'm not saying that no no no, I'm not saying that all what I'm saying is that I wish all 9000 overs here at McLean Bible church with the kind of team member that this guy is willing to make whatever personal sacrifices were necessary to advance the mission of the team whether those were sacrifices in time for an energy or in service or in prayer or in money. It doesn't matter now let me just say there are lots of people on our team that are like that. There are lots of people on this team who do make incredible sacrifices to advance the mission of this church and I want you to know I wake up every morning and I say thank you God for the people who were like that here at this church. But my goal is to see all 9000 of us become just like this. Can you imagine think for a moment the impact we could have on the city if we had 9000 people who were these kind of team members. The Lord Jesus found 13 guys, including the apostle Paul who were like this and they tour the world upside down you meds were 9000 was could do in the city.

We rip the city park Jesus Christ. That's my goal is to see you and me become these kind of team members and friends. Let me just say in closing, if you're a follower of Jesus Christ. God didn't bring you to this church to be a consumer God brought you here to be a contributor. God brought you here to help us achieve our mission here in the city and how do we do that by being great team member and how do we become great team members number one by becoming people who are trustworthy you got my back. I got your back number two by being people who are humble and have a servants attitude.

Hey, whatever it takes whatever you need me to do. I'm willing to do it to get the job done in this town. Number three to be a person who puts the welfare of the team ahead of self be like your mama here McLean Bible church and number four to be a person is willing to make personal sacrifices to see the mission of the team go forward. And I gotta tell you is I was working on the message this week. I stopped for a while and said not God immodest, person, I minimize the leader of this church providing the kind of of role model that people can look at me and see these four things in my life so they can copy them in my life and and I hope I am that way. I'm sure trying to be that way but friends all I'm trying to do is copy Paul and all, Paul was trying to do was copy the Lord Jesus. Remember he said in the Bible imitate me as I imitate Jesus Christ. Will I say to you, if I am being an effective role model to imitate me and let's get this job done. And remember, the only way your children and your grandchildren are ever going to learn to be good team members is by watching you.

And if they see it in you, they're going to grow up to be people like Silas and Timothy and Luke Godley, team members, but friends you got a model of this and take a seminar for this is something you see in other people and you model it from them and so there's a lot at stake here, not just the mission of McLean Bible church but your own children and how they live and their value system. It all depends on you and I be in the kind of team members. The God called us to be. Hey, I looked at my life and mercenaries I can improve. I hope you look at your licensing more.

This mirrors I can prove this is who we're going to be for Jesus Christ, the spring father, thanks for talking to us today about being good team members and 9000 of us like this in the City Hall. My gosh, what we could do eyes almost beyond what we could even conceive so Lord help us to examine our hearts and lives in and help us if were not everything that this list of four things, says we should be. Help us Lord my prayer is to say, God, with your help him to become the kind of person change our lives change the very way we live because we were here today and we ask these things in Jesus name, amen

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