How the Church Can Work Together Like a DREAM
Rebuilding God’s People Part 2
How the church can work together like a dream is the theme of the second chapter of Ezra. John Maxwell once said: “It takes teamwork to make the dream work.” This is true in any organization, and it is especially true in the church. Let’s repeat that phrase: “it takes teamwork to make the dream work.”
I want to share with you how God can put to shape a church that works like a dream.
HOW GOD PUTS TO SHAPE A CHURCH THAT WORKS LIKE A DREAM
D – Delegation (Ezra 2:1-2)
“These now are the people of the province who came from those captive exiles King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had deported to Babylon. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town. They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah…” (Ezra 2:1–2, CSB)
There were multiple leaders whom God used to accomplish His dream. The group delegated tasks between the different leaders. The same is true for the church. There are different leaders who lead different ministries.
The pastor can’t do everything. He needs the help of others. Every group leader can’t do everything. They need people to come together to get things done. Service is not a one-person job. It takes a team.
R – Relationships
Just as there were multiple leaders, there were also multiple relationships that God used. They may have all been Jews, but they related to one another differently.
DIFFERENT RELATIONAL GROUPS
Family Relationships (Ezra 2:2-20)
Community Relationships (Ezra 2:21-35)
Priests (Ezra 2:36-39)
Levites, Singers, and Gatekeepers (Ezra 2:40-42)
Temple Servants (Ezra 2:43-54)
Solomon’s Servants (Ezra 2:55-58)
Those Who Could Not Prove Ancestry (Ezra 2:59-63)
The point of this is to show that there are people who have different kinds of relationships. We tend to group people in relationships and cliques as well in the church. Families usually sit together in their own group. People of different generations come together as well. Our small groups are usually groups by age and generation.
E – Experiences
Look at the experiences of these people. At a minimum, there is a listing of people with ten various kinds of experience.
Politicians (Ezra 2:2)
Religious officials (Ezra 2:2, Ezra 2:43-54)
Descendants of various men (Ezra 2:3-20)
People who lived in different communities (Ezra 2:21-35)
Musicians (Ezra 2:41)
Guards who had military experience (Ezra 2:42)
Descendants of the servants of Solomon’s royal house (Ezra 2:55-58)
Priests and disqualified priests (Ezra 2:61-63)
Slaves (Ezra 2:65)
Singers (Ezra 2:65)
The point here is that there are people with all kinds of various experiences. God can use all these experiences in the church.
A – Abilities (Ezra 2:69)
“according to their ability” (Ezra 2:69)
There are different kinds of abilities list in the Bible.
Physical abilities include work that someone can do. Everyone can do something. Mop the floor, clean the dishes, check and lock the doors. There are abilities that all of us have.
Spiritual gifts are listed in the Bible as another kind of ability. We see them listed in the New Testament. These are abilities that the Holy Spirit gives Christians as gifts to help them do the work of the church.
Some people have abilities for which they were born with, or even trained to do. These are called talents. Some are talented with artistic ability. Others with musical ability. Still other people have specialized skills with which they are talented: welders, electricians, woodwork, builders, gardeners. These talents are exclusive to people who have learned them or who have been gifted with the special ability in ways that no one else can do. You might say that someone has a “knack” for something. That is like a talent.
Here, the people gave of their resources to finance the work. They have resources with which they can give to use for the work. These resources may be assets, as they are listed in this case.
M – Money (Ezra 2:68-69)
“After they arrived at the LORD’s house in Jerusalem, some of the family heads gave freewill offerings for the house of God in order to have it rebuilt on its original site. Based on what they could give, they gave 61,000 gold coins, 6,250 pounds of silver, and 100 priestly garments to the treasury for the project.” (Ezra 2:68–69, CSB)
It takes money to get dreams fulfilled. Everyone has a contribution to make. Here, we see that the people collected their resources, abilities that turned into property that had value.
I look around at this ministry and I can tell you that it will take some money for everything to be finished and updated. I would estimate about another $100,000 to complete the Activity Center as well as update old and outdated equipment. You may say that we don’t have that money. Well, the Bible teaches here and elsewhere that the money and resources come from you. There are heads of families who gave of their own freewill extra offerings to have the house of God rebuilt. For any project outside of a normal budget, it will take resources and shared sacrifice. It takes a team to get the work done. Then it says “based on what they could give” all these items were collected. This means that it was not equal giving, but equal sacrifice.
Folks, it is going to take teamwork to finish the Activity Center, to reach out to new people and share the Gospel, to reach out to a younger resistant generation. Will you join me?