Classic quote from Fast & Furious 5: Brian O'Conner: You realize we're talking about going up against the most powerful guy in all of Rio? Dominic Toretto: Yes, we are. Brian O'Conner: Then we're gonna need a team.
When you are engaged in a commission issued by the Creator of the universe to participate in the discipleship of all humankind, which will place you in a full frontal spiritual assault against all the forces of darkness, you are going to need a team!
At the creation of humankind God recognised that it was "not good for man to be alone" and created "a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18). At the commencement of Jesus earthly mission He "appointed twelve - designating them apostles - that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons" (Mark 3:14-15). At the commission of the disciples Jesus told them, "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). At the coming of the Holy Spirit the disciples were "all together in one place" when "all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:1-4). At the conversion of thousands who responded to the preaching of the early church "all the believers were together and had everything in common" and "every day they continued to meet together...enjoying the favour of all the people" (Acts 2:44-47).
It seems to me that we have been created to be in community, called to live in community and commissioned to engage with community to experience the fulness of the triune God and effectively fulfill His mission! If anyone is under the illusion that they can live out their faith alone and do mission as a solo act, they have completely misunderstood God's intention for His church and have underestimated the tactics of Satan to isolate the sheep from the fold and to divide the body of Christ.
The Apostle Paul emphasises the importance of unity and teamwork in his letters to the churches: "As it is, there are many parts, yet one body" (1 Corinthians 12:20-25); "I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel" (Philippians 1:4-5); "The whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly" (Ephesians 4:16); "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-12).
The writer to the Hebrew Christians also nailed it when he said, "Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
I am passionate about the body of Christ and fully embrace my leadership mandate to "equip the people of God for the work of the ministry to build up the body of Christ" so that we can utilise every spiritual gift and mobilise a Spirit filled army to effectively spread the gospel and advance the kingdom of God! More than ever before we're gonna need a team "to proclaim good news to the poor...to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor" (Luke 4:18-19).
About the Author: Together, with my wife Vanessa, we are the Corps Officers (Pastors) at the Cranbourne Salvation Army, have twins - Rebekah & Adam - and are passionate about leading the local church. We have been in full time ministry for 17 years with appointments at Palmerston Corps in the Northern Territory, Horsham Corps in country Victoria, Noarlunga Corps in South Australia and now Cranbourne Corps in Melbourne. You can find us on the web at http://ephesiansfour12.blogspot.com.au/