Acts 20:4-5 – And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. These going before tarried for us at Troas.
It has been said that if you want to travel fast, go alone, but if you want to enjoy the journey, take someone with you. With more than 48 years of ministry behind me, I can tell you that statement is accurate. It is a simple truth. Not only is the journey more enjoyable with companionship, especially if your companions are loyal members of your team, but the potential outcome is multiplied in its measure and effectiveness. That it defined primarily by two terms; agreement and synergy.
Agreement arises from the Greek word for symphony. Consider a symphony for a moment; many players, many different instruments, a conductor, different notes, different sounds, different tones, and yet when played properly, it might be said that everyone involved, form the conductor to the least frequently used percussionist is on the same page.
The other word is synergy. A synergy might be more clearly understood when we say the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Allow me two examples. First, consider a great ship like the aircraft carrier U.S.S Ronald Reagan. How many tens of thousands of parts does it take to make up that gigantic ship? I have no idea of the number. But the truth is, none of the parts, or even all the parts in a pile achieve the status or importance of the collective of the parts when all of them are assembled in their proper relationship to one another. Second, consider the effectiveness of a team. Studies have shown that a flock of geese flying together can fly seventy percent farther in one flight that one goose can fly alone.
Now put the terms together. Imagine the quality and quantity of work that can be accomplished when synergy (all the respective parts filling their respective roles in a quality a manner as possible), and agreement (each member of the team playing his part according to the task assigned to him, all the while being in the same tuning and tempo as every other part) come together. The potential of that is impressive indeed. Paul understood this principle, though he may not have used the same terms. Not only did he understand it, he put it into practice and taught it to those who shared in his ministry. In our Text for Today, he was accompanied by seven brethren at the beginning of his journey. And when his ministry is examined, we see these principles carried out, and having their impact on the success of his work. There may be times when you need to be alone, but try to make sure travel is not one of them. Enjoy the journey, and make your travel companions a witness of your character.
Manna for Today – Acts 20:1-6; Amos 3:3; Matthew 18:19-20; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Mark 6:7