I would like to tell you a story about a team that accomplished something great. However, I am not going to tell you about a sports team or a military team or a law enforcement team. This team I am referring to accomplished something great for God around two thousand years ago! The story I will tell you is about the “team” of believers in Thessalonica and how the Word of God sounded out from them. The impact of their outreach went beyond their local area, and this team remains to this day an example of how to influence others to live the Word.
In order to fulfill God’s will for the Word of the Lord to sound out, the believers in Thessalonica and their leadership used teamwork.
I Thessalonians 1:8:
For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith [believing] to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
From them the Word of the Lord sounded out in every place. How did they accomplish this? It took teamwork! One dictionary defines “teamwork” as “work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole.” Each believer in the Thessalonian household brought his or her individual strengths and everyone contributed their believing in order for the Word to sound out and make the impact recorded in God’s Word. By working together, this team of believers made a bigger impact than they would have if each had worked alone. Together everyone accomplishes more.
This team (the believers in Thessalonica and their leadership—Paul, Silas, and Timothy) was able to influence others because they lived the Word of God as a family. Paul, Silas, and Timothy treated the believers in Thessalonica as family. They were gentle among the believers, as gentle as a nursing mother would be with her child (I Thessalonians 2:7). They also exhorted, comforted, and charged the believers as a father does his children (I Thessalonians 2:11). Throughout the Thessalonian epistles, the Apostle Paul referred to the believers as “brethren.”
They lived the Word of God as a family in such a way that Paul, Silas, and Timothy imparted not the gospel of God only, but also their own souls (I Thessalonians 2:8). They held back nothing that was profitable, and they taught the Word clearly to the believers. This kind of imparting of oneself is inspiring. The Thessalonian believers responded to this treatment by becoming followers (and teammates) of Paul, Silas, and Timothy, and thus followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I Thessalonians 1:6:
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord….
Another thing that helped the team have a resounding impact in Thessalonica was that they edified one another through their godly communication. The leadership and the believers expressed thanks and acknowledged the efforts that each one made to live God’s Word. They showed each other they cared. I Thessalonians 3:6 notes that the believers always had good remembrance of their leaders, desiring greatly to see them. And the leaders shared their heart of thankfulness and acknowledged the believers’ efforts to live God’s Word.
I Thessalonians 1:2,3:
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith [believing], and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.
Prayer was another element that contributed to their teamwork. The team prayed for God’s best in one another’s lives, and this helped the Word of the Lord to sound out from them. Throughout I and II Thessalonians we see that both the believers and the leaders prayed for one another.
II Thessalonians 3:1:
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.
Prayer strengthened their relationship with God and with one another. Prayer helped them believe together for open doors to make an impact on others with the Word.
We can learn from the teamwork exhibited by the believers in Thessalonica. They became examples in living and holding forth the Word. Together they accomplished something great in their lifetime—the Word of the Lord sounded out even beyond their local area because they spoke it and they lived it! We too can make an impact on the nations of the world when we work as a team, speaking and living the Word together, so that the Word of the Lord sounds out! Together Everyone Accomplishes More!