Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Team Members - Colossians - Part 29

"Tychicus will tell you all about my activities... They will tell you of everything that has taken place here... These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me." - Colossians 4:7a, 9b, 11b ESV

It struck me as I read this chapter a few time this morning that Paul was very busy and he had gathered a team of men even in prison. These men were mostly Gentiles because Paul was imprisoned in a Roman prison. I wonder how this played out. Prison is by nature a closed and limiting place but Paul was able to function that way.

As men, it is good to ask the question, 'Who is on my team and whose team am I on?'

That may be easy to say for some because of their social orientation. Some people have a group of college friends that have remained close and others are close to people because of sports, work or neighborhood interactions. People can polarize naturally into groups. Some might say, 'This is my tribe.' and it makes sense to think that way.

Then there are the loners who identify as individuals strongly and it takes special effort to integrate into a group.

Paul, the writer of this book, had a cause that transcended social and natural boundaries. He had a theology that was grace based and a mindset that gathered 'workers.' He was plugged in and He plugged others in also.

The thought of 'team concept' can seem polarizing to people.

Am I your friend or am I on your team? Isn't there an unwritten expectation that comes with being on a team? Naturally speaking teams have real impersonal elements. But what about a grace based team? What about the Gospel oriented gathering and pooling of resources? What if team life builds a friendship that wasn't there before?

Fly solo if you want. Sulk in your cell and spend your sentence scratching markings on the wall to count off the days. You can do that. I don't recommend it but it is possible.

Not me. I love team life. I'm not talking about us against them life. I'm talking about the gathering of people to be a part of something Heavenly and wonderful that grows and replicates to redeem lives, families and communities. I'm talking about the comradery of working the harvest of souls. I want stories to tell that include others.

Jesus was the Messiah and He gathered a team. That team didn't seem so useful at times but they were useful in ways that weren't immediately apparent. Now He Is the King and He Is still looking for team members. Are we?


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