Church Defined Chosen for a Team
Net Questions

1. What was your most memorable team experience in life?

2. What makes a team a good team?
Col 3:12  Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Col 3:13  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Col 3:14  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Col 3:15  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

3. Gratitude, humility, gentleness, patience, peacemaker, focused, walks by grace, and gifted are the eight characteristics of a good team player mentioned in Sunday’s sermon. Discuss how these characteristics make for a good team player regardless of what position a person plays on the team.
Eph 4:11  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
Eph 4:12  to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Eph 4:13  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Eph 4:14  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
Eph 4:15  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Eph 4:16  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.



4. When it comes to the church, have you been a team player? If not, are you willing to become a team player? Why or why not?
Heb 10:24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Heb 10:25  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
1 Th 5:10  He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
1 Th 5:11  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.




Church Defined
Chosen for the Team

Ephesians 4:1-16

Show Memorial Day Video

What a sacrifice has been paid so we can be here this morning to worship!
This morning we've got a couple of very special guys here. They have both been deployed in war zones and have personally suffered the loss of dear friends, fellow soldiers and that means a part of their family died. Why do I say a part of their family died?  

People who have served together in the military understand that their fellow soldiers become their family away from family. They share a home away from home.
Today I've asked Patrick Kittle and Duane Phillips to step up here with me.

I want to show you Patricks arm. The names of his friends are etched in his memory and etched on his arm. Duane's are etched in his memory and etched as dog tags on his chest. Why would they do this?
To Remember! That's why.
Today they help us to never forget the sacrifice.



Patrick, share with us what branch of the military you served with and then if you would call out the names of your friends who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could be here today….


Baltazar
Lane
Stiggy
Fowlkes
Barboza
Hatfield

Duane, share with us what branch of the military you served with and then if you would call out the names of your friends who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could be here today….



Kenny Bostich

LET'S PRAY!

Father God, today we remember the terrible price paid by these men who were mentioned today. They gave their lives fighting for their country, their families, and our right to worship freely! I pray we never, ever forget the sacrifice they made on our behalf...

And dear Jesus, please be with the families of those fallen heroes. The children, the spouses, the parents, siblings, grandparents, close friends, and their fellow soldiers who will always carry them in their hearts and minds!!!
And Lord I ask that You confirm in each of these peoples hearts...

that their loved one did not die in vain, for we are still a free people, who gather today to worship without fear of persecution. I wish there were no such thing as war, but as long as there are ungodly people who would seek to take away our freedom, we remember there are some things worth fighting for and even dying for.

I pray that as Christ followers we will never forget the ultimate sacrifice you paid many years ago on an old rugged cross, so that we could have spiritual freedom. I pray that today you will teach us what it means to be called to be on Your team as we engage in spiritual warfare. Hide me behind Your Cross and fill me with Your Spirit as I share today!
In Jesus name I pray and believe!!

 Thanks guys!!! We appreciate your service to our country!! We are honored for you to be here today!

 If you would, take your Bibles and turn with me to Ephesians 4:1-16.
These verses are so powerful and have much to teach us about our calling to be on the Team!
One of the most important things to remember about being on a team is a team must act as a unit!

 In other words, a team must have unity if it is going to be effective. We talked a few weeks ago about being chosen to unite with other believers who have been saved by God's Grace!!
When you hear military folks talk, they always talk about their unit.

 Do you know what the definition of a unit is in the military? It is a cohesive fighting force. We are going to discover today that God desires for the church to be a cohesive fighting force in the spiritual realm. He has called each of us to be on His team. We are a part of a special forces unit, designed to carry out His divine will!

 Let's see what God's Word has to say about us being a team unit…
Ephesians 4:1-16
As you're turning to this passage, let me get you ready for what's coming…

In this passage….



ETS: Paul is encouraging the church to function as a unit or a team.
ESS: There are certain characteristics each team member needs in order to be a good team member (player).


OSS: I pray that each of you will realize you've been called to the team and that you will exhibit the characteristics of a good team player!
Probing question: What are the characteristics of a good team player taught by Paul in this passage?
Transitional Sentence: Let's look at the characteristics of a good team player.

So let's dig right in! Instead of reading all 16 verses and then going back over them, we're just going deal with each verse as it comes.

1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Ephesians 4:1 (NIV)

Characteristic One

Gratitude!

 A good team member realizes he or she is not worthy of being chosen for the team, but out of gratitude desires to live a life worthy of the calling!

The next verse actually list several characteristics...

2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

Characteristic Two

Humility

A good team member realizes he or she wasn't chosen because they know everything, because they have it all together, or because they're the best at what they do. A good team member understands the honor of being asked to be on the team and desires to be a team player, not a showboat!

You see, a showboat is more concerned about what people think about himself than he is with the welfare of the team. This kind of pride is never good for a team. In fact, God's Word has this to say about pride...

2When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2 (NIV)

18Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18 (NIV)

19Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
Proverbs 16:19 (NIV)

23A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.
Proverbs 29:23 (NIV)

Characteristic Three

Gentleness

2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

To many people think that gentleness is weakness. This so untrue! Gentleness and meekness go hand in hand, but are falsely associated with weakness.
It actually takes great strength to be a gentle and meek person and I'll let you in on little secret...

5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:5 (NIV)

A good team member will exhibit gentleness towards the other team members because they care about the team!!

12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

And this leads us to our fourth characteristic of a good team member...

2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

Characteristic Four

Patience

A team member who has gratitude, humility, and gentleness is going to have patience with the other team members!

13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

I don't know how many times this week, I've had the opportunity to share with others the fact that a person who has been forgiven ought to be willing to forgive. I know we talked about this last week, but here it is again. A good team member knows God forgave him of many things and this translates into patience for other team members who are struggling with things.

I'm not talking about letting horrible behavior on the team go unchecked, but I am talking about being patient and gentle with those who are trying, but struggling. If we're honest, we all have areas we struggle with, but by God's grace and with the help of our fellow team mates, we will overcome!!

Let's read on...

3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:3 (NIV)

Characteristic Five

Peacemaker

The bond of peace is what holds us together as a unit. There may be a war just outside our doors, but inside the church, and remember the church is not a building, but a people, inside the church we have a bond of peace through Jesus. Paul put it this way to the Colossians…

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

As a member of Christ's team, we should be seekers and promoters of peace!
I'll let you in on another secret...

9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

And check this out...

17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
James 3:17 (NIV)

18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:18 (NIV)

Okay, let's get back to our list of Characteristics that make up a good team member...

4There is one body and one Spirit —just as you were called to one hope when you were called —
Ephesians 4:4 (NIV)

5one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
Ephesians 4:5 (NIV)

6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Ephesians 4:6 (NIV)

Characteristic Six

Focused

A good team member doesn't focus on the things that could be divisive, but focuses on what unites us!
Paul list seven things that help us operate as a unit!
Let me read those to you again…
So powerful...

4There is one body [the body of Christ]and one Spirit [the Spirit of Christ]—just as you were called to one hope [our hope is in Christ] when you were called —
Ephesians 4:4 (NIV)

5one Lord [Christ is Lord], one faith[our faith is in Christ], one baptism [our baptism is in Christ]
Ephesians 4:5 (NIV)

6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. [One God, who in Christ took on flesh and dwelt among us]
Ephesians 4:6 (NIV)

 By the way, this last statement is a statement of the Holy Trinity...

6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all [because of what Jesus the Son did on the Cross] and in all [in all because of the Holy Spirit]. Ephesians 4:6 (NIV)

Back to our Characteristics list...

7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
Ephesians 4:7 (NIV)

Characteristic Seven

Walks by Grace

A good team member knows and relies on God's Grace in his or her life. Remember grace is the undeserved favor of our Lord. A team member who relies on God's grace will have gratitude, humility, gentleness, patience…they will be a peacemaker, focused on what really matters!!

As Christ apportioned it. We don't earn grace, deserve grace, or buy grace. God gives grace in Christ!!!
In fact Paul takes several verses to explain...

8This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”
Ephesians 4:8 (NIV)

9(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ?
Ephesians 4:9 (NIV)

10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)
Ephesians 4:10 (NIV)

Simply put…
Jesus left the glory, splendor, and safety of heaven to come to a world that had fallen, was anything but glorious, knowing He would die on a Cross, but He did it so He could give you and me His grace. He wanted us on His team pretty bad!!!

Paul goes on to say...

11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
Ephesians 4:11 (NIV)

Characteristic Eight

Gifted

Now I know what some of you are thinking. "I'm not gifted!" I beg to differ. You may not be an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor or a teacher, but I've got some amazing news for you!!! Paul didn't end with verse 11. Check out verse 12...

12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Ephesians 4:12 (NIV)

The apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers are simply called to equip you to do the works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up!!
If you don't use the gifts God has given you, and you have them, you may just not know what they are, if you don't use your gifts, the team looses in a big way!!

We could never hire enough ministers to do the work God has called Northshore Church to do. Without you, we can't accomplish our mission to transform worship, people and the world!

Listen to God's word…

4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
Romans 12:4 (NIV)

5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:5 (NIV)

6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
Romans 12:6 (NIV)

7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
Romans 12:7 (NIV)

8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:8 (NIV)

And just what is the point of all this? What is the goal of this team your talking about? Why would I want to be on Christ's team?
Paul anticipated your questions and gives a glorious answer in our last few verses...

13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:13 (NIV)

14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
Ephesians 4:14 (NIV)

15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)