Chapel Talks - Written

Team Building Series

  • Three Characteristics of a Team

  • Facing Death – After Boston Bombing

imagesCAA2RB95Session #1 – 3 Characteristics of a Team, 4/12/13

 

We are going to talk about teams. First, what’s a team? What makes a team a team?

Teams are obviously very important in sports. What are some of the best characteristics of a good team?

What was the first team ever? Think outside of sports.

The Trinity–the Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit was the first team. The Trinity is the idea that there is one God in three people. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are equal but different. It’s hard to understand how all this works but it’s true.

We first learn about the Trinity in the Bible in the very first book in Genesis 1:26 when it says, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” How do we know this verse is talking about the Trinity?

The words ‘us’ and ‘our’ are there. God the Father wasn’t the only person involved in the creation of all the world. Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there too. They made the whole world together. They did it as a team.

So here’s an important question, why did they make everything? Why did they create? What do you think?

It wasn’t because they were bored. And it wasn’t because they needed anything. They did it for their joy. They did it for fun. They couldn’t help but create. That’s what they do!

We learn from the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible that God is a giver. A joyful giver.

This is important to understand because the Trinity is the model for all teams. The Trinity is the best team that has ever been. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit show us what a good team is like.

A good team is one that has fun and serves (just like the Trinity).

Characteristic #1 -A good team is one that has fun and serves (just like the Trinity).

Let’s talk about another great team. Can anyone think of another great team in the Bible? If not, that’s ok.

Jesus and his disciples were a great team. Before we talk about them as a team, let’s talk about who they were. Who was Jesus? Who were the disciples?

Jesus is the Son of God, a part of the Trinity. God sent Jesus to Earth to do what? [To live the life we should have lived and pay the price we should have paid]. Celebrating Easter, like we just did, is a way for us to remember what Jesus did for us. He loved us so much that He died for us. He defeated death and rose from the dead and is alive today!

And the disciples were his students. That’s what disciple means–learner. They were “normal” people doing “normal” jobs before Jesus called them to follow him.

Jesus and his disciples spent three years together. They traveled together.?They ate together. They helped people together. And the disciples got to witness Jesus do some amazing stuff like teach to large crowds and heal people.

John 13:34-35 records some pretty important words Jesus once said to his disciples:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

We learn from this that:

Characteristic #2 – A good team loves each other by caring for one another (just like Jesus and his disciples).

What have you done today to care for your teammates? As a team, what can we do to care for another the rest of the day?

Reiterate this: A good team loves each other by caring for one another (just like Jesus and his disciples).

Thirdly, let’s discuss being on God’s team. In the Bible, it talks a lot about how to be on God’s team. Does anyone know how we get on God’s team? ______________

What do we learn from these verses about God’s team?

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

[Emphasize that being on God's team is a gift...We can't earn it...Comes by faith] And what else do we learn from these verses?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not die but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

[Believing in who Jesus was (the Son who died for our sin) gets us on God's team...On God's team, we live forever]

One more:

“For our sake he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

[Because of Jesus' death, we are seen as "good" and righteous, if we believe in Jesus]

Being on this team with God helps us to understand forgiveness. What does forgiveness mean? How did God forgive? Did he wait for us to ask?

God not only forgave us but He calls us to forgive others: So, from this we learn:

Characteristic #3 A good team forgives each other (just like God did with us).

Have you been forgiving with your teammates today? Are you holding any grudges with your teammates?

I have a handout for you to fill out now. I want to give you 2 copies of it. One is for you, if you are willing, to fill out and give back to me. I will not share this with anyone – but I will pray specifically for you as you strive to apply these characteristics of a team. The other one is for you to fill out and keep, to use as a prompter to follow these three characteristics from the Bible of a team.

Take some time and think about this – it could change your whole experience of being a part of the 49ers.

Submitted by Ken Cross

563847_10151585465594587_844323371_n#3 Team Building Session with UNCC WBB, 4/24/13 Postseason

In Rudyard Kipling’s the Jungle Book, Mogli, the man cub asks the animals what’s the most feared thing in the jungle. He is told that when two animals meet on a narrow path one must step aside and let the other pass. The animal that steps aside for none other would then be the most feared. He was told it was an elephant. Another told him it was a lion. Finally the wise old owl exclaims, “The most feared thing in the jungle is death. It steps aside for no one.”

Death steps aside for no one. In our hearts we know that very fact of life. We all must walk through a door marked death – We all die. We are told in Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: There comes a time when we each must feel the sting of death.

America is still reeling from the Boston Marathon bombing and the lose of life in Texas. In Boston, it took our breath away to see the effects of evil in the form of hatred and terrorism. We know people are capable of it – but it still shocks us – and so does any death because death is not natural – we were not intended to die. God made Adam and Eve to never die. But their sin messed that up for them and us.

Loved ones die, grandparents die, children die, friends die, we die. As depressing as that might seem, it is the truth. Death steps aside for no one. If ever a person was aware of that fact, it was the lady that we meet here in Luke chapter 7.(Handout with verses printed) This is a lady who has certainly come face to face with death’s awful sting. (Read Luke 7:11-17)

We don’t know much about the young man that was being carried out of town on the bier on this day. What was his cause of death? Was it a death related to immoral conduct? Was his death related to some sinful lifestyle that he was involved in? Was it a death of natural causes or an accident possibly? We don’t know. All we know is that this, the only son of a widow woman is now dead. His life is done. He is now without hope. There is no hope of a future for him. No hope of a family, no hope of children or a wife. There’s no hope of providing for his mother, of building his own home, of greater things for his family. All hope died when he did. He was hopeless and the widow woman was too. Imagine, she was now left all alone. You see, when her husband died, it became the responsibility of this son to care for her, to provide for her. Now he was gone. A widow in those days was in a totally vulnerable position if there were no male relatives to protect and provide for her. Her dead son was hopeless and she was helpless. She’s left all alone, with no one to help her.

As the funeral procession winds toward the gates of the city, no doubt the widow’s heart breaks even more. Nain only had one gate and so those leaving and those entering the town would ultimately meet up at this one gate.

William Barclay says that even to this day there is a cemetery of rock tombs that is a ten minute walk from Nain. This funeral procession was most likely carrying this young man’s body out of the city limits to this nearby cemetery. The funeral procession, Barclay points out, would be led by a band of professional mourners who would play instruments and cry aloud. They are almost to the gravesite. They are almost to the place where she will leave her son and turn around and come back home empty.

Look at verse 13

We’ve all said something like that in awkward situations: “Don’t cry.” But what in the world do we mean by it? Sometimes we really mean, “Don’t cry–you’re making me uncomfortable.”

Sometimes we ironically mean, “I wish you didn’t need to cry–but go ahead; there’s nothing else we can do.” And if we are really kind and empathetic we may join the weeper in her tears. Christ set us an example in this when he wept at the tomb of Lazarus. He was going to do something much more radical than that, but first he joined the suffering people in their tears.

But there is also a third scenario that some of us have enacted, perhaps when rushing to the side of one of our children when they were little. Then we may mean, “Your cry for help has been answered. So you can stop crying now: I am here!” This poor widow could not have known she was in a position to hope for anything more than the second meaning (there’s nothing else we can do.”). But this third one was what Jesus was really saying, as she would soon discover to her everlasting astonishment and joy.

What is the point? There is sorrow, tragedy, and pain in every life in this room sufficient to make us all cry if we were to think about it too long and hard. “Man is but dust,” said John Donne, who has been “coagulated and kneaded into earth by tears.”  But the Lord Jesus Christ, representing God the Father, still says to us–He says it this very moment as we read this passage–”Do not weep!” And what does He mean? He means, “I join you in your tears here and now. But the day is coming when all your tears will be wiped away.” In its fullness at the Second Coming, we will hear; by foretaste and down payment even now, we may hear Jesus saying, “Your cry for help has been answered. So you can stop crying now: I am here!” Jesus, representing the Father, says it to us. And we, representing Jesus, should be saying it for Him with meaning to others: “Do not weep!” For Christ is here.

In Jewish times, if a son died as a young man, such as the case here, it was often considered an act of judgment by God for some sin in your life. This lady would have a stigma attached to her in society from now on because of her son’s death. There would be neighbors and friends who would make accusations against her. Yet notice, none of those things affected the Lord. He came to her right where she was in her darkest hour. He wasn’t bothered or turned away because of her circumstances. When she was at the bottom, when things were as bad as they had ever been, He came to her and showed her compassion.

Such was the case when I got saved. Christ came looking for me, an individual. If you are here this morning and you have never trusted Christ, such is the case for you. He’s looking for you this morning. He’s seeking you specifically. He wants to save you. He’s calling your name.

Jesus touches death and is not unclean! He defeats death!

In that day, anyone who touched a dead body was considered unclean for a period of time.

Jesus touches the streacher/beir holding the dead body – everyone what shocked! No one does that – no one touches death!

HE defeat death here for the widow – and later on the cross for you and me.

You see, we’re not merely talking about some powerless, generic god. We are talking about an all powerful, omnipotent God. We’re discussing the One who holds the keys to death, hell, and the grave. Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;

He has conquered it all.

So today, or this Summer, or whatever time, I challenge you to deal with, Who is Jesus? What is his identity? Is he able to show compassion on you? Will you believe him?

You might have some terrible things happen in your family or close to you – I hope not. But eventually – like the Widow – you will be at your lowest. Remember the tears of Jesus and that we can stop crying because he is here and he can be your Savior.

I have not gotten your values you set for yourself – so that you will be a thermostat instead of a thermometer – and I have not gotten your prayer requests yet either.

Send them to me – or if you need to talk anytime – here are my cards. I am a good listener!

Prayer

Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son

11 Soon afterward he (Jesus) went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17 And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son

11 Soon afterward he (Jesus) went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17 And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

Submitted by Ken Cross