“Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
What and Why?
When you came to Christ, you became part of God’s family. You are not alone! Not only do you have Jesus’ promise to “always be with you” (Matthew 28:20), you also have brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of those brothers and sisters are at your university. Working together, God will enable you to stand firm in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel. (Philippians 1:27)
Why do we want to “stand firm together?” Why do we need to have “one mind?” Why are we encouraged to “strive together for the faith of the gospel?” There are many reasons. For the moment let’s emphasize one: What we are attempting to accomplish is greater than anything one person could achieve on their own. The students who need to hear about Christ and be discipled are not just in your classes. They spread out across the city. But our goal doesn't end with the city in which we live. Even if every student in your city were to hear about Jesus the question would arise, “What about those in other cities?” THE SCOPE is great.
God has called us to pursue this scope as a community. This is the best environment for your personal spiritual growth, and the best environment for movement building. This is the way that Jesus started his movement which continues to spread across the world. It is in our connection with each other, as we love each other, that those outside of the faith “will know that we are Jesus’ disciples.” (John 13:35)
Why are teams so important? Good teamwork experiences a dynamic called synergy. Synergy is is an outcome of two or more things working together, producing a result not possible through the efforts of a single unit. Synergy in our teams is when two or more movement builders function so effectively that they produce a result that could not be attained through the efforts of one person.
What observations do you have about teamwork and synergy based on this video?
What Is a Team?
A definition of a movement building team is –
“A group of like-hearted disciples who commit themselves to a common purpose.”
(That is fulfilling the Great Commission)
Learning from the Word
Ecclesiastes is one of the Old Testament books referred to as “wisdom literature.” Wisdom literature is made up of concise statements & principles which give us insight into life. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, we read about the wisdom of working together.
Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
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List as many benefits as you can find about why two are better than one:
Connecting to the Truth
Building a team and investing in it is an essential step to developing a spiritual movement at our university. As a leader, one thing you absolutely must do is gather other leaders, joining forces to serve the Lord. God does not intend for you to do all the work alone.
Sometimes working together can be challenging. We don’t always treat each as we should. People can get hurt, offended or become alienated when conflicts and disagreements arise. We aren’t really surprised to find Paul writing to the believers at Corinth saying, “I exhort you by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
When we are “complete in Christ” we will have the same mind. We will serve our Lord in unity and harmony, functioning as one body. However, today, such harmonious interaction is no given. Paul exhorted his disciples calling them to unity, urging them to work together.
In Ephesians 4:29-32, Paul tells Christians how treat each other. What do these things have to do with how well a team works together?
Your action steps need to be shaped for your context. If you currently don’t have a team your first action step is to pursue creating a team. If you already have a team, your action step will be to invest in the team so that it honors the Lord and is effective in fulfilling its purpose.
Creating a Team
If you currently don’t have a team you need to:
♦ Find like-hearted disciples.
⇒ Challenge like-hearted disciples to join the movement building effort. When you meet these people, share your heart and your vision. Let them know that you have been praying, asking God to connect you with others of the same heart. Ask them to join you in the effort of building a movement.
⇒ Start asking around. (Network) Ask people if they know anyone who is a follower of Christ? Ask if they know of someone who is passionate about reaching students. Contact those people.
♦ Pray asking the Lord of the harvest to direct you to other laborers.
♦ Continue to lead people to Christ who will become like-hearted disciples.
Bring these people together and discuss the commitment of being movement builders. Your team can form as new believers join the work.
Investing in a team:
If you already have a team, thank the Lord. You can then ask the question --- What can I do to help my team be more effective? Choose two of the following suggestions and discuss them with your team:
1. Assess your team to determine whether it is focused on building movements or focused on something else. Share your observations with the team and ask the team members to share their thoughts on the topic.
2. Does your team have a clear goal? If not, work on one together. A good goal is something that is clear, motivating, and easy to share with others.
3. Do you know the strengths and gifts of everyone on the team? Discuss what each person on the team uniquely contributes to the goal of the team.
4. Study Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 & Ephesians 4 together as a team Bible study. Identify 2-3 specific applications you want to make on your team and begin implementing them.
5. If you are not doing so already, start a weekly team prayer meeting.
Discuss these options with your discipler and let them know how it is going.
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