I’m gonna read the passage, pray and then we’re gonna get into the teaching. So well you stand your feet, I’m gonna read this passage for us this morning again. This is closing out paul’s letter to the colossians Church, It’ll be verses 10 through 18 I’m sorry. Um yeah 10 through 18 to close out this letter um by the way, if you’re uh young and married and thinking about having kids here are some great names that you can consider, we’re gonna read them. Um they’re biblical names right there in the bible. So um looking for some names for your kids, some strong, you know, greek names here. Um anyway let’s read the passage Again, beginning in verse 10 Aris star kiss my fellow prisoner greets you and mark the cousin of Barnabas concerning whom you have received instructions If he comes to you, welcome him and jesus who is called justice. 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 who is one of you. A servant of christ, jesus greets you always struggling on your behalf in his prayers that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God for I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in and here ah polis luke. The beloved physician greets you as does dimas give my greetings to the brothers at leo antonym fa and the church in her house and when this letter has been read among you have it also read in the church of the And see that you also read the letter from Leo decia and say to our capisce, see that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord. I paul write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains, grace be with you church, that is the word of the Lord. Let us pray father, thank you for this letter. Thank you for the wisdom of christ that comes to us and this written form and thank you for this opportunity to come and gather in the name of christ to be strengthened in christ for the purpose of showing this world christ. And I pray father that you would help me um to teach your word faithfully this morning and I pray God, you would give us ears to hear what the spirit wishes to encourage us with, to equip us with and to speak to us pray this in jesus name, Amen, Amen church, you may be seated. The end of the letter is typically the time when we as christians take the liberty to jump forward to skip forward in our reading plans, we check that off saying I finished this book even though we didn’t quite read all of the names and what seems insignificant towards the end. Right. Some of you do that, some of you are like. No, that’s not me, man, I’m faithful to the Lord to read every word, even the ones I can’t pronounce right. But in this, this conclusion of the letter, paul highlights his team, He introduces his team and he lists more names here in colossians than in almost any other letter that he writes. Except for his letter to the roman church. He says, essentially, meet the team. And so the title for this morning’s teaching is meet the team, meet the team. And the goal for this morning is to help you to see that Christianity is a team sport. Christianity is a team sport for those of you who follow sports and you follow basketball, professional basketball in particular. Some of you you don’t have to follow professional sports or professional basketball to be a member here at sore. We still love you, right? We still recognize you as being a member of the team. But bear with me for a few moments, for those of you who do follow you probably are. That there is a debate about who is the greatest basketball player to play the game up until this point in history, right? And everyone knows that Michael Jordan is the goat, right? Not Lebron James, not anybody else, right? It is Michael Jordan. We all know that, right? You heard it here on this stage from Pastor dan. Therefore, it must be gospel. But here’s the thing about Michael Jordan when he began his professional basketball career. He tried to do everything for the Chicago bulls and he he racked up all of the stats, he scored a lot of points, he grabbed a lot of rebounds, he had a lot of us is a lot of stills, he did everything for the team. But the Chicago bulls were mediocre, they were mediocre because a great player tried to do everything for the team. You know, what happens when great players try to do everything for the team? The team is mediocre. Why? Because other players on the team don’t know their role, don’t understand their role or their value to the team until we have this dynamic. You sitting here this morning, you hear a title of a sermon entitled Meet the Team and me saying that Christianity is a team sport, and you wonder what does this have to do with me? Well, likely you’re one of those two types of people, one who tries to do everything for the team, or one who doesn’t quite yet understand your role on the team and you need to know your role on the team. And so this message has bearing for every single one of us who wants to be a member in Christchurch, who wants to be a part of what God is doing in the earth, We need to know what God has called us to do and we need to learn how to do it in the context of a team because it’s in the context of a team where God is most glorified, he’s most glorified in the context of a team When he made the man adam, he said for the first time, it is not good, he needed a companion. So God is most glorified in the context of the team. Secondly, in the context of the team, we grow the most we mature the fastest if hearts are in the right place, but it provides the context for the most growth and maturity to take place in the context of the team. And as we are growing and maturing in the context of that team, our roles, the place that God has called us to step into the gifts of talents, the abilities that God has gifted us with. They make the most sense and the community, the team helps us to see it assures us in, it helps us to walk in it. And so paul written his letter to the church in colossi closing this letter, he pulls back the curtain he says, here is the team. And by by the way, as he introduces his team, we see something that’s really significant about this team. There are jews and gentiles on this team. The first three names he gives us are jewish christians who love christ who aren’t ashamed of their jewish heritage, but yet they see christ as the fulfillment of all of those promises and they love christ and they want christ to be preached all over the world and therefore they’re able to celebrate the three gentile members of the team that paul mentions later as being equally valuable to the team, only christ can do that unite people different backgrounds, different ethnicities, social status is young and all coming together united in him. He built his team around him around the Gospel, around his truth and every member has a part to play. Every member is significant because Christianity is a team sport, it’s a team sport, we together put on display the glory of God, we together witness to the power of the Gospel. Now, individually we can do that individually, you can do some good things, but not as far, not as much, not as great of an impact as collectively we doing it together can and that’s the lesson that Michael Jordan had to learn playing for the Chicago bulls. When he pulled back, stopped trying to do everything and allow other guys on the team to fulfill a role. They became unstoppable, they became a dynasty. It became one of the most difficult teams to beat ever in the history of the game and even his individual talent went to another level. So some of you might be aware of your gifts and your talents and you may be trying to actively step into it. But I’m telling you in the context of a team and you learning to love being on a team and being a part of a team and seeing other members of the team contribute. You have the greatest potential to accelerate your growth and impact by being on that team and allowing others to play their part, the apostle paul is no different. He is looking to jesus as the ultimate leader of the team and he celebrates the fact that there are other members on his team. He says that aristocracy is my fellow prisoner. Now we don’t know if he’s actually a prisoner with paul, we know paul is in chains, he may be a fellow prisoner with paul, but paul, this brother right here is so important to me, he’s right here with me through my ups and downs through my bondage here, he’s right here with me and I couldn’t do the things without his constant encouragement to me, things that God is calling him to do that encouragement to do. It likely came from a brother like this who wouldn’t leave his side even though he was in chains. So paul pulls the curtain back, he shows us his team and likely there are other members of the team that he doesn’t mention in the previous verses, recovered them last week, he mentioned a few other people that were also a part of the team in paul understood this, that jesus was about his kingdom of people being united in christ alone and so paul celebrates that he’s happy to have these guys play a part, be a part, he understands he can only get so far, but with these guys man, they can accomplish a lot, there’s a couple of names that are worth mentioning. He mentions Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. If you’re familiar with the Book of Acts, you know that there was a sharp disagreement between paul and Barnabas over over Mark Paul felt that that Mark was someone that didn’t really need to be on the team because when the temperature rose, when the battle intensified, Mark had bailed on them in the past. And so paul was not willing to bring Mark along again. And in the process, paul and Barnabas who were best of buds who were teammates, had a sharp disagreement and had to go separate ways. But something happened, something changed in paul, something changed in Mark and here we are, the two of them are together working on the same team and that happens in the context of a team. We’ve got individual personalities, we’ve got preferences. We’ve we’ve got experiences, we’ve we’ve got ideas on how we think something ought to be done. And in the process, it can create some tension. It can create some conflict again because glorifying God is our ultimate goal, The father’s glory christ, being honored. Somehow. We figure it out. We come back together, we grow through that conflict and we see the value of each member on the team. So paul, something has changed in him and he recognizes the value of Mark and something has changed in Mark something to such a point to where Mark eventually developed a prominent ministry, he led a prominent ministry in Rome of course she is the author of the Gospel of Mark, the last name, Justice or jesus who was actually a pretty popular name. And so that’s all you need to know about that, we’ll move on from there. But these three men that paul identifies as being from the circumcision, meaning that they were jews, the men that love, jesus love the gospel, going to all peoples. So paul preaching, writing to the colossians talking about this Gospel, going to all peoples, showing that the gospel is uniting even jew and gentile on his team and then he gets to his gentile teammates and pathways we know planted the church here, but isn’t presently there, but as paul says, has a prayer request or he makes known to paul and to the rest of the team, his prayer for the church in colossi and it’s that they might stand mature, fully assured in all the will of God actually he says that you may stand mature and the US poor, right. It’s poor, it’s all of the church in colossi that they might stand mature and fully assured in the will of God. Now this is a theme throughout this book. This idea of standing or walking and being mature. In fact paul begins this letter talking about his prayer in terms of the maturity or the walking and the fullness of the understanding of what christ had done for them. And now paul is reiterating, impoverishes prayer to Orr of Orr and about the church in colossi look, it’s in the context of community where these disciples are most likely to progress and move towards maturity. It’s in the context of being on a team, pursuing a common goal, pursuing it, willing to play your part, willing to sacrifice, that makes it possible for them to be fully mature. They’re gonna grow as they work together in pursuing christ and guess what as they are working together, they can see when one member of the team is separating from the rest of the team and they’re able to say, hey wait, don’t go there, come back, stay here, this is the goal, this is what we are after, we’re after this type of disciple, one that glorifies God and everything that he or she does that’s not glorifying to God. Back over here, man, come on, you know, we love you, but you gotta get back over, it’s in that context and they can have conversations about why that doesn’t glorify God, why we do things a certain way, why we want to be faithful to the scriptures and all things, here’s how the scriptures apply to that situation. It’s in that context of community where we grow you know what if one of you were to be placed in a cave for six months, no human contact, just you, your bible and somehow angels or birds delivered your your breakfast, lunch and dinner to you. All right? But let’s say you were indicated by yourself six months, you and your bible and all you do is read your bible and pray. I guarantee you at the end of those six months you’ve come out very weird, very weird, weird ideas. Why? Because you haven’t had human feedback say man, look, that’s weird bro. You shouldn’t think that. You shouldn’t say that you shouldn’t act that way. Here’s what the word of God says, man. This is how you ought to understand that passage, man. You’re getting really, really weird here because we were made for a relationship beginning with God and then with one another. Our God is the perfect illustration of unity and fellowship and diversity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit one True God. And so he builds a people that same type of unity. And as we start doing life together, we start to grow up. We start to mature as we start to walk this out together, we can help each other. We can point things out, we can be accountable to one another. We can encourage one another, We can support one another when times are hard or when we’re dealing with painful situations and circumstances in our lives, we become the body and we realize that every single member is important. Every single member. Every single member has a part to play. We mature in that context. This is the path prayer for them is that they would stand mature, fully assured that the will of God, It reminds you of what paul wrote to the Ephesians in church, which that letter is much like this letter and said that that they would mature into one full man meaning christ, that the teaching would bring them to that, but that they in walking out that teaching would become one mature man, jesus. The world would see jesus through us walking together, living out his truth together, holding each other to that truth, the world would see jesus there are his disciples right there. So God’s glory, more of God’s glory is revealed in the context of the team community, the church, the body and we individual members mature faster in that context. And lastly, every member has a part to play. Every member has a part to play. He says, give my greetings to the brothers at and two Ninfa and the church in her house. And then he says in verse 17, say to our typists, see that you fulfill the ministry that you received in the Lord. It’s interesting that highlights uh these two into these two individuals ninfa, probably a gift of hospitality, probably had the resources to host the church. And then our typists probably having some ministry calling and ability on his life and paul wants to encourage them, paul wants them to know that their parts on the team, that it’s not overlooked. It’s not missed. It’s not forgotten that they matter to God, that what they do is significant to this work of seeing the Kingdom of God be expressed on this planet, to highlight that greek, to let her know that the rest of the church, the rest of the kingdom, has heard about what she’s doing, how she’s opened her house for people to be disciple in that context, to mature in that context and then say to our typists, see to it that you fulfill the ministry that you’ve received in the law. We’re not sure who our campuses. Maybe he’s one of the elders here, Maybe not. Maybe he’s a young believer who’s not sure of his calling, who’s doubting his calling, doubting whether or not he’s got what it takes, what it takes to walk in that calling. And paul says, let him know that he’s been called. That encouraged him to fulfill that calling. That’s your job as the church. To make sure that every member in the church is aware and is stepping into what God has called them into and to encourage them in that maybe he’s discouraged. Maybe he thinks that his leadership is failing whatever the case may be your job, your job is the church member is hurting when a member is discouraged, when a member is doubting, encouraged, encouraging, help them step into their calling to fulfill their purpose. I used this illustration in the first service. So I have to do it in the second service. Women care more about their toes than men do until it really counts. Like women will take care of their toes, make them look pretty different colors and things like that. Right? Guys will neglect their toes until they hurt until we stub a toe. Then we realize, oh, there’s some toes down there and we need to take care of them, right? Until we get a toe that’s turned back into itself and is digging into the skin and into the foot and we can’t walk. Now we realize, oh, toes are important. Well, ladies have already thought about that, right? They’ve trimmed them, they’ve kept them nice and nice and neat and, and so the toe, it’s important to them. Let the toe needs to look good, the guy. No man, it’s a toe, you wanna put it in the shoe, You know what? I’m thankful that God uses the body as an analogy for every member and having a part to play. Some of us can have a guy mentality about our part to play. Like you don’t matter until it hurts and God, God wants you to not have that kind of mindset as you think about your part to play your role in the body, that you are significant. No matter how little or small, you think your part is to play it matters, it’s important, it matters to your community group, your presence, when you serve you ask questions when you speak up, it matters. And it matters to the rest of the group, when something happens to you and you’re not there. Sometimes we look at the person that doesn’t speak a whole lot in the group. And and and we we look at that person and some people who are the opposite of that person who like to talk in a group. They they look at them and they they see strength. And then the person who doesn’t talk much looks at the person who talks the most and thinks that that strength and that’s why we need to have a community conversation because we need to say no, we need you to speak up more and we need you to speak less and then we mature, right? Is that not the reality? Your presence matters what you have to offer to this church, It matters. It’s important to God. God is building a church. He’s building a people for his glory. The gospel comes to you as an individual, but it brings you into a family. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to leave any member of my family behind. And I know that’s the heart of God. I know he wants you to play your ball. I know that you matter to him. I know you matter you matter so much, that jesus went to the cross and bled for you, that you might receive all of the father’s law and whatever part you have to play. You know like the little kid who starting out with their drawings, right? What parent looks at their two year olds, drawings and things? Well, you know, he’s gonna be a Picasso someday. I mean he’s an artist, right? I think so. I didn’t plan to say that Anyway, you’re proud of what he has to offer. You’re proud. You put your confidence in christ and you step up to the plate and you take a swing because you’re trusting him this problem, he’s proud. Christianity is a team sport together. We reflect more of God’s glory together, we mature and grow faster together, we learn to play our parts. Well, God is glorified because of it. The last thing I want to mention, there’s another name, verse 14 dimas which is short for demetrius, He’s mentioned again in the Bible and 2nd Timothy 4 10 paul says that dimas, it’s one of the saddest, saddest verses that you could read in the bible says that he because of a love for the world had left or departed from paul. And the team, satan wants nothing more than for you to leave the team to think that you have no value you to think that you have no worth for you to think that the little thing that you do doesn’t matter, they would want nothing more than for you to think that way and to leave. But that’s not God’s heart, you matter. You need to know that when you wrestle with what is my place on this team, what do I have to offer? You need to know that that’s a natural part of growing and maturing in the faith that you come to a place where you start to want to contribute but not know really what it is or how you’re supposed to contribute. That’s a natural part of your growth in christ that you wrestle with that in this context. Where we get that sorted out, when we figure it out where we encourage one another, but we help each other to find our place so that we can thrive in christ and together bring him the most glory. Amen. Hey man, I want to leave you one question before I close, who’s on your team? Who are you working with to bring the most glory to God. If you’re married, it better be your spouse. It’s not we’ve got problems, You’ve got some problems and we need to talk. But think family, think in terms of this community here, think about the people of God’s place in your life, how can we work together as a team to bring glory to christ in the city. Amen. Amen Father in heaven, we want you to be glorified. We want you to be glorified in this church. God in our families got in every sphere of influence that you’ve given us. We want you to be glorified. God make us wise in this, make us God faithful and diligent in this. God. Give us endurance in this and God most importantly, give us a deep, deep love for one another, the love of christ spilling over into our relationships. We see one another as being members of his body, precious in your sight. So God, would you do all these things the name of jesus? We pray. Amen.