Lordship Involves Teamwork

Bible Book: 1 Peter  4 : 10
Subject: Team Work; Unity; Cooperation; Church; Success
Series: Lordship


Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com

1 Peter 4:10

“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Peter wrote the word “gift” in this passage, to speak of the fact that each Christian is gifted in some way to serve God and serve fellow believers. We are to use the gift or gifts we have been given through God's Spirit and for God's will toward the proper reason and in the proper way. Since every Christian is gifted with at least one gift and no Christian is likely to have all the gifts, we must work together in order to fulfill the will and work of God.

I want to speak to you today on the subject of teamwork, for the scripture is clear regarding the unity in which we are to do God’s work. We note in Hebrews 13:20-21:

"Now may the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

God's goal for us is to do His will for the glory of our Lord.

Look at Ephesians 4:12-16:

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Here again, we see the desire of our Lord that we work together as a team to accomplish His will and purpose. This is an extremely important truth for the church, and for each individual member. Teamwork is absolutely necessary if we are to carry out God’s work.

We are all important, but no one is more important than another. We may hold different positions and have certain authorities given to us because of those positions, but that does not elevate us in the sight of God, nor does it diminish the critical place held by others.

I read a story somewhere about two men working on the side of the road in a certain town. A woman sitting on her front porch watched them in amazement. One man dug a hole and the second man filled it up. They moved down the street a few feet and the first man dug another hole and the second man filled it up. They did that about three times and the woman walked down to the street said, “Pardon me, but one of you digs a hole and the other fills it up.” Then she asked, “What, exactly, are you doing?” One of the men said, “Well, we are on the city’s beautification team. We are out here to plant some trees and make the town look better.” The lady said, “But you just dig holes and fill them up.” The other man said, “Oh, I can explain. You see, one of us is the digger, the other one is the filler, but the guy who puts the tree in the hole is out of work sick today.”

Our work in the church can be like that, unless we work together – as a team – for God’s glory. We can end up simply wasting time and energy, all the while failing to bring God the glory He deserves or accomplishing the task He has designed. Leaving out others in the process leaves the task undone.

Someone wisely said, “If you don’t think that teamwork is required for success, try driving a car when one of the wheels falls off.” Exactly! Teamwork is essential for success.

So, let’s think about teamwork and Lordship today.

I. The Lord Determined Teamwork

Our text tells us that God gave some to do one job and others to do another job, for we don’t all have the same gift or gifts. We can’t do that which God has not equipped us to do, but we ought never to deny serving where God has gifted us to serve.

The term “gift” is represented by nine words in the Greek New Testament. They have three meanings:

  • A Gift can be a Present.
  • A Gift can be an Offering.
  • A Gift can be an Endowment.

When we read our text today we need to be aware that “gift” here speaks of “endowment.” That means that God has given or endowed upon us and in us an ability or abilities to do His kingdom work. The gift(s) is not ours; it is His!

How does God make the gift or gifts we need available to us? He delivers them through the Holy Spirit. When we are saved, God’s Spirit comes to live in us and in that moment God endows us with certain God-given gifts. Every believer is gifted to serve God. You may not think your gift is special, but God gave it to you and your gift(s) is just as important in His work as any other.

 We need to begin by realizing that God desires us to work in unison and love, for His entire plan involves granting gifts to us on the basis of His own strategies and intentions. It is His kingdom and not ours, so our responsibility is to use that which He has given us to aid each other in fulfilling His will.

II. The Lord Demands Teamwork

The Lord will never bless a work based on selfish ambition. I knew an evangelist years ago who had incredible abilities. He was unique in every way and many people thought he was going to be the next Billy Graham. The problem was, he thought he was the next Billy Graham and even said so in my presence. His pride and arrogance eventually got the best of him and he ended up losing the great revival/evangelistic work God had given him. I honestly saw in him the potential for a ministry of profound reach and scope, but I also saw the unwillingness to be humble and work well with others. He remained in ministry but never on the level that was once upon to him.

No matter how talented you are, or how many gifts God may have given you, if you become haughty and self-centered, you will never reach your full potential.

One day the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him who was greatest in the kingdom. The Bible states,

"Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”(Mattehw 18:24)

Jesus demanded of His followers a humility, and that kind of humility will cause people to work together rather than bringing about a struggle for prominence.

III. The Lord Demonstrates Teamwork

This may sound strange to you, but Jesus was the perfect example of teamwork. In John 10, Jesus shared something about His divine nature. The religious leaders were appalled, but note what Jesus said in John 10:30, “I and my Father are One.”

Jesus is God. Yes, He was man while on this earth and He was so much man it appeared that He was only man. Yet, He was God and it seemed that He was so much God that He wasn’t man. The truth is that He was both – He is the God-man. But, Jesus was subject to His Father while on earth in the flesh. He was equal to the Father in every way, and our text tells us that He and the Father are One.

In Philippians 2:5-11 we read:

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Do you see what the Bible says? Jesus humbled Himself and took upon Himself a servant's nature to accomplish the divine task of redemption. He worked in cooperation with the Father by submitting to Him, though He was equal to Him. Now that is a real picture of Teamwork on a divine level.

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, “Let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not my will but thine be done.” In other words, He submitted His will to the Father’s will to accomplish the task of providing us with redemption, even though it meant the horrible death of the cross.

Now, who in this great congregation today thinks you are better than Jesus? You may feel you are better than one person or another, but I’m here to tell you that in your service to God you are called upon to humble yourself and work for His cause and not your own. Jesus demonstrated that and is the perfect example for us.

Now, note also that ...

IV. The Lord Designed Teamwork

Jesus called twelve disciples to follow Him, and in doing so He taught us the great need for training. Every task requires training, from knowing how to cook to knowing how to fly a giant airplane. Every believer needs training and that is one reason we ought to be faithful in our church Bible study, training programs and worship. We are to continual be trained, equipped, and discipled in our service for Christ.

In our church, every new member is required to go through New Member Training. In this course we cover our doctrines, so no one who joins can claim later than we have a belief that they reject. Also, we show them the oppotunities for service and ask them to choose at least one to begin as a way of serving the Lord in our fellowship. It is wonderful to see these new members pray about where they feel God has gifted them, and then to watch them begin to serve. You see, no one is called into a local church to sit and watch others work. There is no spiritual gift called "watching!" Everyone is to serve God through a local congregation.

In training we discover our God-given gifts and we learn better how to use them. We learn to appreciate others and the gifts they have. Someone has said that the sun does not shine for itself, and neither do we. We are to let our light shine so that others may see and glorify God. As we train, we discover those tools and practices that make our gifts from God work better in completing what He has planned and is implementing.

Someone has said that a dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant can actually see further than the giant. It doesn’t matter how big I am, it matters if I am cooperating as a team member to accomplish a greater task than I can do alone. God has blessed me through the 52 years of ministry I've experienced as a preacher of God's Word. I've known through it all that I've been standing on the shoulders of those who taught me when I was a boy in a Baptist Church years ago. I stand on the shoulders of my parents, who prayed with me and for me. I stand on the shoulders of those church members who prayed for me and helped me day by day through the years. If God is using you, be sure you recognize that it isn't about you - it is all about bringing glory to God by working together as God's people through using the gifts He has given us.

Note also that ...

V. The Lord Delights in Teamwork

In Psalm 133 we read,

1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.

3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.”

Note that it is “good and pleasant” for God’s children to live and work in unity. Someone said that there are some things that are good, and there are others things that are pleasant, but unity, fellowship and working with teamwork is both at once.

Unity attracts people, for it is beautiful. A group of Christians who practice teamwork have a chance to draw people to Christ. Those who fight and struggle for control, usually end up driving people away.

We are told that the oil of the Holy Spirit and the blessings of God come down from above. Teamwork is easy when everyone is looking at the leader – and our leader is the Lord. If we concentrate on each other, we can always find something we don’t like. Judging others is easy, for we are not looking at our own faults when we do that. However, we are a team in God’s Work and we look to Him, and He pours the oil of the Spirit and thus the dewdrops of unity flow down from above and empower our efforts.


We must work together as one body if we expect to complete God’s task. Jeremiah 32:39 reveals that the Millennial Age to come will be one of compete unity. The text states, “… then I will give them one heart and one way…”

We are never more like we will be in heaven than when we are working in humble submission to God and each other with one heart.

Who flies the kite

I said the boy, it is my joy, I fly the kite.

Who flies the kite?

I said the wind, it is my whim, I fly the kite.

Who flies the kite?

I said the tail, I make it sail, I fly the kite.

Who flies the kite?

I said the string, I am the thing, I fly the kite.

Who flies the kite?

All are wrong, all are right; all fly the kite!

So let us as God’s people so join in teamwork that in total cooperation and unity we are a part of making God’s work FLY!