These are my sermon notes for this past Sunday (January 1, 2012) at the Clarks Mills UMC. This is primarily an expanded outline from which I then preached.
JUST A FEW WEEKS FROM NOW…
TEAMWORK…Establish a team that can work together and knows the same playbook…
Christ wants to establish a team WITH US!
Not just those who SAY they’re Christian or those who go to church… but those who know the same playbook, have the same ground rules for working together with each other and with Christ.
1 Samuel 16:7
“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
It is in our hearts that we will be Christian.
In our hearts we will make the choices to be a part of the team, set out to make disciples for Jesus Christ.
It is through our hearts that we will show
“By their fruit you shall recognize them.”
What will people around us recognize by the “fruit” the grows from our hearts?
Dr. Roy Trueblood, in his book Partners in Ministry, used that word HEART as an acrostic to identify 5 key ground rules that teams, especially ministry teams, HAVE TO HAVE in order to be GREAT teams.
HEAR AND UNDERSTAND ME
Jesus said repeatedly, Let him who has ears to hear, hear.
Don’t let this message go in one ear and out the other….
PAY ATTENTION… HEAR ME AND UNDERSTAND ME!
Jesus showed us the importance of this and gave us the example…
John 4… Woman at the well.
He’s tired, and sits down to rest while the disciples go on…
He hears the woman… understands the rejection and pain that she’s operating out of, and meets her right there where she is.
So often we Christians look at where the world around us & the people around us OUGHT to be and get upset , angry, or depressed because they don’t seem to get it.
Jesus showed us the better way… Stop. Hear them and REALLY listen. Understand where they’re coming from. Meet them where they are.
EVEN IF YOU DISAGREE, PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME WRONG
Again, Jesus is our example:
John 8…woman taken in adultery…
Who accuses you?
Go and sin no more.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE GREATNESS WITHIN ME
Jesus affirmed the greatness and worth of those around him.
· Ate & drank with sinners and even prostitutes mk 2.16
· Nathaniel… I saw you under the fig tree… john 1:48
REMEMBER TO LOOK FOR MY LOVING INTENTIONS
Mary & Martha’s home
Mary broke box of ointment, disciples complained about impracticality.
Jesus saw her loving intentions.
TELL ME THE TRUTH WITH COMPASSION
Paul teaches that it is as we speak “the truth in love” that “we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Truth, without love, without compassion, tears down and wounds the one to whom you speak.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
In many organizations, at their first meeting of the year, they install their new officers. And, in essence, so do we today. BUT, I want us to be MORE than just a roster of officers… It is my hope, my prayer, and my goal, that we be a MINISTRY TEAM.
Officers have authority to do their job and are responsible to go do their job and carry out their assigned tasks.
A Ministry TEAM, has team members who do have specific tasks and areas that are their responsibility, but they are dependant upon everyone else in the team doing their jobs as well.
So, I don’t talk about “officers” of the church “organization,” but rather we work as a “team” each of us doing our job but completely ineffective unless we’re doing it WITH the rest of the team as a part of that team.
One final word…
All of these things we’ve talked about today are built upon the assumption that you KNOW Jesus Christ first!
These are not qualities that you’re going to be able to work on alone. You MUST have Jesus Christ as your foundation you or it won’t make a difference.
That’s why one of the United Methodist Book of Discipline, (the “play book” if you will of the United Methodist Church) includes a requirement that those serving in positions of leadership and responsibility must have Jesus Christ as their Lord and their Savior first or else they are NOT eligible to lead in our church.
As we work together in 2012, let’s remember the HEART of the team!
–All Scripture references from The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1984 (NIV).