Seventeen teenagers endured the grueling heat, humidity and bugs of their Florida boot camp. They came from all across the country and Canada. Most of them had never met before yet they all had a common bond. The rules were strict and the discipline tough. Still they pressed onward.
They traveled by plane and bus until eventually reaching Nsongwa and Ngie, Cameroon. In the heart of Africa they came—willing servants of an incredible Father, to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Fifteen contracted Malaria; all of them tolerated worms and parasites. When many were sick the rest pitched in to serve them and maintain their responsibilities. They backpacked over many miles to take the Gospel to remote villages. They shared their burdens, took turns encouraging each other, prayed, sang, worked and ministered to strangers with uncommon zeal and inspiring passion. In the end, over 600 people made decisions to follow Jesus. Friendships were forged—some that will last for a lifetime. How do I know this? My daughter, Sarah, and her friends Becky and Naomi sacrificed their summer to go with Teen Missions to Africa. All three of them sense God leading them to be missionaries and, God in His wisdom, taught them one summer the value of team work.
Colossians 4:7-14--Tychicus, our dearly loved brother, faithful servant, and fellow slave in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we areand so that he may encourage your hearts. He is with Onesimus, a faithful and dearly loved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, as does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin . . . and so does Jesus who is called Justus . . . Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. For I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis. Luke, the dearly loved physician, and Demas greet you.
In the Bible, the only reference to the word team refers to horses tied to a chariot. The word teamwork is never used. Yet the concept is pregnant throughout Scripture. Jesus trained a team and their collective work of evangelism and discipleship turned the world upside down. We see Paul’s teammates in the passage above. Collectively they labored through persecution, in sickness and health with joy and sorrow. They traveled as messengers from church to church. Solomon noted that “And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
If the team is focused on Jesus, the work will be Christ-centered and the collective efforts of many yields amazing results. It is so easy to focus on our individual journey and solitary needs that we forget the importance of working together with our fellow brothers and sisters. Perhaps this is why Hebrews 10:24, 25 says, “And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Something to think about . . . in reveration!
©2005 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)