Partnership in Evangelism
One of the constant themes of my preaching is that membership in a local church is more than a name on a roster and a seat on a pew. There is teamwork involved, and every team member must pitch in and contribute. I define “team” as Together Everyone Accomplishes More. A flock of geese flying together adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. Aviator Charles Linbergh had the backing of 9 businessmen from St. Louis and the Ryan Aeronautical Company that built his plane. Jesus had 12 apostles. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
The idea is embedded in the Greek term, koinonia (“fellowship”). There is “partnership” or “joint participation” that must be established and constantly nurtured if people are to work together successfully in the cause of Christ. The whole body, “joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Eph. 4:16). Preachers, teachers, people with encouragement skills, and elders must constantly emphasize, “We’re in this together, and everybody’s contribution counts!” In the New Testament, the apostle Paul and others mention about 40 of his co-laborers by name. Congregations that succeed are able to tap into the power of teamwork.
-- Mike Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org