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13. Overcoming Loneliness

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In Your Bible Read This

Exodus 18, Romans 16

Here Is Your Memory Verse

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4, 9-12

Afterwards Talk About This

Discuss how you have seen that two together accomplish much more than two working separately.

Something To Do Before Next Time

Organise a tug-of-war championship with contests between churches, schools, bars and so on. See how a team can really pull together.

Written Diploma Work

Write a page to say why Jesus sent out the apostles two by two.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse

Numbers 11, 14-17

Spend a Minute to Change the World

Pray For North Korea – 26,000,000 Asian peoples. Isolated nation, near collapse, 68% atheist, 30% Shamanism. Once in revival, now 0.4% believers

Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.

One of the most common, yet unspoken problems in leadership is the pain of loneliness. Some ministers simply do not have any friends or colleagues because they were taught in Bible School that a minister has to be separate from everyone else. On the contrary the Bible presents us with a strong model of men working together in team.

Paul’s Apostolic Teams

He began as just two people, but later he had a bigger international team and a sizeable team in Rome, Acts 13.1-4; 20.4; 16, 1-10; Romans 16, 10-16.

Apostle Or Apostolic?

Members of apostolic teams do not have to be apostles, but they do need to be apostolic and called and equipped by God for apostolic strategy. For Paul this meant travelling but for the Antioch team meant wide ministry in the city. In Paul’s teams you find a wide variety of people from experienced ministers like Barnabas and Silas, to young men like Timothy and John Mark, Doctor Luke, intercessors like Epaphras, Col. 4.12, Tychicus the messenger, Eph. 6.21, Zenas the lawyer and Apollos the refugee preacher, Titus 3.13. Teams changed as people found their destiny in God and took responsibility, some were sent out while others joined. Not everyone made it first time! Acts 15, 38; 2 Tim 4.11.

Principles Of Team

God himself is the finest example of team because although Father, Son and Holy Spirit all have different roles they work together in perfect harmony and unity towards a common purpose previously agreed by all. Genesis 1.26; 3.22; 11.7; Isaiah 6.8; Matt 3,16-17

Jesus Formed A Team

He chose his team after a night of prayer consulting with his Father, then called them to him and gave them authority and gifting, Luke 6,12-15, Matt. 10.1.He knew and discipled each one by name, and later sent them out 2 by 2, Matthew 10. 2; 5; Luke 10.1.When the church was formed on the day of Pentecost the apostles naturally enough chose to work in a team.

The Genesis Principle

You can see the benefit of teamwork in the building of the tower of Babel that caught God’s attention, Genesis 11, 1-9. Although in this case the people were all working towards an ungodly goal, just notice the power of unity and speaking the same language, which meant that nothing was going to be impossible for them, Genesis 11.1-6; Psalm 133.

The Ecclesiastes Principle

Solomon’s wisdom says that two are better than one, and a three fold cord cannot be easily broken, Ecc. 4,9-12. A long time ago a man noticed that if he harnessed two horses together they could in fact pull far more weight than two horses working as individuals. It is now well known that two working together accomplish far more than two individuals – it’s called synergy. Two together with Jesus become that three-fold cord that is not easily broken.

An ideal team also needs a 3-fold cord of vision, or the prophetic, plus pastoral ministry to care for all the people the vision is driving and an administrative ability to handle all the organisation that the vision demands.

Choosing Your Team

This principle came from a time when Moses had a typical leader’s problem of overwork and was heading for exhaustion until father-in-law Jethro gave him some good advice.

Jethro said that Moses role as the leader was ~

  • To represent the people before God.
  • To teach the people.
  • To be an example to the people. Exodus 18, 13 -20

Moses was told to choose capable men, men who fear God, trustworthy, honest men and work as a team with them, delegating the workload to them. The benefit would be that Moses would be able to stand the strain and the people would be satisfied, Exodus 18, 21-26.

Moses like some apostles did not always learn quickly and some time later is still working alone and is so exhausted that he prays to die.

Again God says form a team of men who you know and are happy with and who will stand there with you. Numbers 11,13-18.

Choose Loyal Men

Because God takes the spirit of the leader and puts it on the team, so everyone must be enthusiastic for the leader’s vision and his or her way of doing it, otherwise you will soon have division, that is 2 visions. Loyal men are there for you, not for their own reasons. Jesus had three disciples who he knew would be specially supportive to him. Elijah heard Elisha say, “I will not leave you,” and at Hebron David looked for loyal men and asked them three questions,

Have you come in peace,

Have you come to help me,

Have you come to unite with me or to betray me?

1 Chron. 12.17-18.

Team Development

Team life begins with everyone being dependent on the leader and visionary. Later on they become inter-dependent upon the leader and each other but the danger comes if pride ever makes one member think of being independent. His premature departure weakens the team and also his own credibility and future.

Mother churches which are apostolic bases that send out apostolic team ministry into the city and the nations are the New Testament way of advancing the gospel. Can we do any better?

To Close Pray for the World’s Most Unreached Peoples by Name

Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.

Saudi Arabia

People Name Language Population
Fayfa Mahri, Fayfi 20,000
Indonesian Indonesian 37,000
Kabardian Kabardian 17,000
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