Acts 13:4,5: Team work.
“4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.”NIV
From yesterday’s reading, it was obvious that the Antioch church was led by a team (1): a diverse team, composed of differing personalities and gifts. They sought God together, worshipped together and heard His voice together.They moved in harmony. Many church leadership teams spend a lot of time talking to each other; how many give quality time to listening to God?
In today’s short passage the team work continues. It’s a smaller team – just three this time (4,5): Barnabas, Saul and John Mark. We thank God for preachers and preaching. It’s crucial that the word of God should be ‘’proclaimed.’’ However, let’s not overlook those people who help practically in the background, and whose gifts help to ensure the smooth running of church machinery. If you can, ensure they are affirmed; that they know they are noticed and appreciated.
We are not to be spiritual ‘Lone Rangers’. Temperamentally, some are inclined towards solitude, while others are more social beings. If you belong to the first group (and I do) you need to ensure that you don’t ‘go it alone’; that you do honour the body of Christ. God often imparts His wisdom to us through others. Don’t be shy of asking for help or advice. Recognise that God is constructing the church in such a way that there is an inter-dependence. We all need each other. Everyone has something to give to others, and much to receive. That’s how it works and to strike out on your own is to go against the grain of the God-given church order.
Whatever we do though – even as a team – must be initiated by the Holy Spirit, otherwise we are wasting time. When these three set sail, they were being blown along by the Holy Spirit (4). When the divine wind is in your sails, it’s fun to be part of the crew! It may sometimes be dangerous, but with God’s Spirit in charge it will be an adventure.