It has been said that “going” for the sake of Jesus and His Church is one of the most life-changing experiences one can have, in terms of awakening us to His call and dream among the nations – the inheritance that belongs to the One who died and rose to purchase a people for Himself from every nation, tribe and tongue. To experience the thrill of being used by our Lord in stepping out of our comfortable, known contexts and crossing over to another area of His field and body will open your eyes to His great mission that is global in its mandate. The call that is meant to be lived out in team again and again is going, planting, establishing and nurturing local churches in every town, region and nation of the world.
‘After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two other and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.’ (Luke 10:1)
‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together!’
Why Do We Go into The Nations in Teams?
It is the Biblical Model
God as a triune God almost always builds using team. There are many examples in the Old Testament of this, but even a quick overview of the New Testament will show Jesus’ desire as Lord to send out teams:
- Jesus sent out His disciples (with whom He always travelled) two by two (Luke 10:1).
- Barnabas sought out Paul to help him in Antioch (Acts 11:25).
- The Holy Spirit set apart Paul and Barnabas to take the gospel further (Acts 13:2).
- Paul and Silas (along with Timothy, Luke and probably others) travelled together through the Macedonian region.
The Bible constantly urges us to give no opportunity for evil or even the appearance of evil; we should be above reproach and blameless. Also, to have partners means a sharing of ideas and thoughts, feedback on ministry, and how it is really going. It means companionship, being able to encourage each other in the face of difficulties, and sharing in the highs and lows of each other’s lives. This also means that there are witnesses if any difficult conversations take place.
A Variety of Gifts
We never carry the whole package, and as those coming to ultimately represent Jesus and to be Jesus’ body to local churches, it is so helpful to have various gifts available in the team. To be able to spend time worshipping, ministering in prophecy, helping with the children, teaching on various topics, serving in administration or finances. As much as we often go into a church knowing what we are aiming to achieve, once you get there, various gifts are often required to supply what is lacking.
Modelling The Message
As much as teaching on worship, unity, community, submission or service is powerfully grounded in biblical provocation for every value we wish to impart, it is far more powerful when that value is also modelled by a team of saints. Over and over we hear the feedback that it was the team of saints who went on the outreach that had the biggest impact on the church. The way they lived in homes and modelled the values that were being taught is usually the most effective way of changing cultures. Kingdom life is often caught far more than it is taught. We are to be living Epistles.