We started 2012 with the theme “Elevate”- this would be a year of elevating our lives for Christ, elevating our family life, elevating our church to a new level of effectiveness in our vision and mission!
So, how’s that going?? That’s why its good for us to come back to what we said was important and make sure we are prioritizing it. We need to RELEVATE!
The first priority I want us to refocus and re-elevate is the TEAM we’re going to “go the field with!” Who are the people that you’re going to count on and who can count on you when it comes to elevating your life for Christ- personally, in your family relationships, as part of GCC, in your marketplace?
You see I’ve got my Manning game jersey on today! The Broncos are hoping that Manning will elevate the QB position and elevate the level of everyone’s play! I hope so too, and we’ll see tonight! But it will take every member of the offense, the defense, the special teams, the practice squad, the coaches, trainers, but not the cheerleaders…
Let me introduce a former NFL player and friend of mine to talk about the importance of team: This guy won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers. He also played his college career at CU and spent some time playing for the Broncos! He now works at Valor Christian HS and is a church planter in the Denver area! We are blessed to have him here… Darius Holland!!
You’ve played on some teams in your career. What’s your biggest takeaway about being a part of a team? Darius: “Mutual accountability and encouragement!”
What are some of the things that you think makes a team great? Darius: “Capacity to learn and grow. Competence in ability. Character that is trustworthy. Commitment to the team and each other!”
You’re obviously in the ministry. What parallels are there regarding team and doing church, etc.? Darius: “Saying to people, “I believe in you.” And in response people saying, “You can count on me!”
Give it up for Darius Holland!! Awesome insight from someone who knows what he’s talking about!
Okay, so what’s the Bible say about the importance of team?
Eccl. 4:7-12 “I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun. This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing. Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
There’s some amazing advice in these verses that we take seriously here at GCC.
1. You’re not meant to do life alone. We Don’t Want You to Be Alone!
Gen. 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
Hey, as much as I love Peyton Manning, I don’t want him to be out there on the field alone tonight! I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to be out there alone tonight! And that’s the thing, as good as he is, he can’t do it alone!
Well, in the game of life, you can’t do it alone either; God didn’t design us that way. He put us on the planet with other people, to live and function together in relationships, to be a team- whether it’s you and your spouse in a marriage, your family and children, the church, and especially your Life Group. God wants us to be a part, an important part of the team!
So, why do we try to do life alone? Sometimes it’s pride: “I don’t need anyone else!” Sometimes it’s insecurity: “I’m not qualified or capable!” Sometimes it’s fear: “I’m intimidated!” Sometimes it’s disappointment: “I didn’t have a great experience on the last team!” It can be all sorts of reasons.
And here’s a huge contributing factor that’s always at play: The devil doesn’t want you on a team- especially one like a marriage, a family, a church, a Life Group, that promotes unity and community, among other things! He want’s your life to become essentially “meaningless” because that’s the “case of the man who is all alone!” He wants you to be separated from the pack so that he can devour you!
Have you ever watched National Geographic and lions and gazelles?? Who do the lions go after? The gazelle thats the slowest and gets separated from the herd!
But when you get connected to the right people, you join the team that is going to want you, welcome you, embrace you, encourage you, and yes even challenge you- you’re going to grow spiritually, and in every other way, because that’s the way God has put it all together. Water Buffalos aren’t like gazelles!! When lions try to take a young calf, the herd will encircle the calf and fend off the lions!!
Being on the right team, a church, life group, is all about that!
2. Working alone only brings dissatisfaction. We Want You to Know You’re “Working” as Part of a Team!
Rom. 12:4 “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
Solomon is very much so implying in Eccl. 4 that ultimate satisfaction in life does not come from “working for yourself”- again, this in the end is “depressing.” Instead, “working with and for” the team- your marriage, family, church, Life Group, is what results in the greatest pleasure!
Isn’t that true? Isn’t that a huge part of realizing you’ve spiritually matured? When you get more excited about blessing, and helping, and coming alongside of, and gifting others?? Whether it’s your spouse, or kids, or church, or Life Group, you find the greatest meaning and fulfillment in life in benefitting others- not merely being in it for yourself!
I’ve told pastors and church planters that team and networking is God’s ultimate Plan and there is, as Elway said, “No Plan B!” And you don’t get on the team and at the network table with a “I’m in this for myself” or “what can I get out of it” attitude. NO! You realize on day one that this is all about the team, all about benefiting and blessing others; and it’s only in that dynamic that you, yourself are benefitted and blessed!
God says “I’m going to make it so you have to have other people in life that your very intentionally connected to and in relationship with because you are only a part; a very important and necessary part, but it takes all the other parts too!
Yep, Manning is a great QB- but someone has to hike the ball, someone has to block, someone has to catch the pass… And it’s the same for your marriage, your family, GCC, and being a part of a Life Group! When all of that is synchronized together, it’s a very beautiful and powerful thing!
3. There’s multiplied effectiveness when you stand together. We Want You to Experience the Power of Team!
Lev. 26:8 “Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword.”
You know, one big offensive or defensive lineman is pretty intimidating! But you put 3 or 4 of those guys together, standing shoulder to shoulder, biceps bulging, growling and grunting, well, that’s going to scare most of us!
Did you know that one horse can pull about 2500 pounds! But if you hook up two horses together, do you know how much they can pull? 12,500 pounds!! That’s not just addition or multiplication; that’s exponential ability! Farmers figured this out a long time ago! It’s the power of teamwork!
You need that power in your life and we need that power in the church! That’s why Life Groups have the potential to be so powerful- we have a “team of teams” and everyone is working for the other, together in unity and synchronization and synergy and the next thing you know, “all the enemies fall beneath our swords!”
Think about how powerful it is that in working together, whether in your marriage, family, church, with one mission and one mindset, all our enemies begin to fall- my “enemies”, your “enemies”, all those “enemies” that war against our mind, our heart, our soul, our spirit, our emotions, our finances, our marriages, our families, our churches, our communities, “FALL!”
That’s the power of team! That’s why we want you to experience that power in every aspect of your life by finding your “team” here at GCC!
4. We Want You to Get Connected to a Life Group!
Phil. 1:27 “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.”
That verse summarizes what we’ve been talking about today very well! “Standing together, one spirit, one purpose, fighting together for the faith… for our marriages, for our children, for our families, for our churches, for our workplace, for our mission field, for our world!!!
It’s all possible because we really GET God’s concept, his only PLAN for you to be a part of the team! Remember back to your playground days and teams were picked?? Maybe you weren’t the #1 pick or #2 or #3 or even #7. Hey, Tom Brady, whether you like him and the Patriots or not, was a 6th round pick coming out of college!
What’s important is God doesn’t see you as a 6th round pick! God doesn’t see you as a 1st round pick either… He sees all of us as the #1 pick! How do I know that? Because Jesus’ blood gives value to EVERY PERSON!
And at GCC we value EVERY PERSON and WANT you on the TEAM! That’s why we make a big deal about Life Groups and have all these tables and “teams” represented around the room. And even though you’ll see some young pro teams/life groups and some women’s teams/life groups, and I’m starting one for men; or a new people at GCC team/life group, or all types of other opportunities, we are all ONE TEAM and we WANT you on the TEAM!
And you have the opportunity to both benefit and bless and be benefitted and blessed in these areas…
Relational Connectivity. Encouragement and Care. Discipleship and Development. Mutual Accountability. Missional Service
Life Group’s are represented all around this auditorium and LG leaders want to recruit you onto their team. But find the team/group that is best for you! If you attend GCC and you’re not connected to a Life Group, please go to weallneedgrace.com/lifegroups/ and check out your opportunities today. The new fall season is launching now.