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 in the nations. The inheritance that belongs to him – 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, going… planting, establishing and nurturing local churches in every town, region and nation of the world.
After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two others 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
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 sends out his disciples (whom he always travelled with) two by two (Luke 10:1); Barnabas seeks out Paul to help him in Antioch (Acts 11:25); The Holy Spirit sets apart Paul and Barnabas to take the gospel further (Acts 13:2); we see Paul and Silas (along with Timothy, Luke and probably others) travelling together through the Macedonian region.
The Bible constantly urges us to give no opportunity for evil or for 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 encouraging each other in the face of difficulties, companionship and sharing of the highs and lows. This also means that there are witnesses there if any difficult conversations take place.
A Variety of Gifts
We never carry the whole package and as those coming to represent ultimately Jesus and to be Jesus’ body towards local churches, it is so helpful to have various gifts available in the team. To be able to spend time worshipping, ministering in prophecy, serving with the children, teaching on various topics, helping with administration or finances. As much as we often go into a church knowing what we are aiming to achieve, once you get there often various gifts are 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 the team members themselves that went on the outreach had such an impact on the church. The way they lived in homes and modelled the values that were being taught, this 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.
“If you want to go fast go alone if you want to go far…go together!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan is a devoted lover of Jesus, a happy husband, a father of four and a leader within Joshua Generation Church. He also travels and ministers into Four12 partnering churches in South Africa. You can follow him on Facebook.
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