Devotional: My Fellow Workers

Herb and Patti Reese

Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. (Philemon 23-24, NIV)

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. (Romans 16:3, ESV)

No one can or should do ministry alone. The Apostle Paul almost never ministered alone. He sprinkled his epistles with numerous references to his “co-workers,” “co-laborers” and “fellow workers.” The one time Paul did minister alone – in Corinth – was also one of the most discouraging points in his ministry.

What was true for Paul is also true for anyone who wants to accomplish something significant for the Kingdom. We cannot do ministry without the support of others. I know that has been true for myself. New Commandment Men’s Ministries would be impossible without the help of my many “fellow workers.” Here’s a list of some of them:

  • Faithful Hands – This is the men’s team ministry at my church, Crossroads Church in Northglenn, Colorado. I head this ministry up as a volunteer. We have 60 fellow workers who serve 25 care receivers.
  • My own two teams – I’m on two teams, one that meets the 2nd Saturday of the month and one that meets once a month during the week. My Saturday team’s fellow workers are Matt Warner, Don Kreutzer and Hugh Swift. My weekday team’s fellow workers are Eric Ketelsen and Chris Desrochers.
  • New Commandment’s Board of Directors – Allan Meers, Phil Sattler, John Raine and Bill Nicholson are my fellow workers with me on New Commandment’s board. They volunteer hundreds of hours of service on behalf of the ministry.
  • Ministry Associates – My fellow workers, Bill Nicholson and Steve Faulkner, do men’s team ministry workshops with me around the country.
  • Volunteers – Nancy Wildrick, Steve Hayen and Chris Desrohers are fellow workers who regularly volunteer their time and effort to help with some of the details of the ministry.
  • Donors and Prayer Warriors – Over one hundred fellow workers donate money and support New Commandment Men’s Ministries with their prayers.
  • Thousands of men around the world – There are hundreds of churches across America and around the world with men’s team ministries. The thousands of men who serve the widowed and single parents in these churches are also my fellow workers.
  • My wife, Patti – My most important fellow worker is my amazing wife, Patti. Few people realize how hard she works – and how steadfastly she has stood by me – to make New Commandment possible. Love you, Dear.

We all have limited resources: limited time, limited money and limited energy. But by combining our efforts with the efforts of others, and with the Lord’s blessing, we can accomplish much more than we could ever accomplish alone.

Discussion Questions

  1. What kind of volunteer ministry do you do?
  2. In what ways are you doing ministry with other “fellow workers.”
  3. How do you acknowledge them and thank them for their service?
  4. Of course, doing ministry with others raises its own problems. We’re all imperfect people and that inevitably involves conflict. Paul and Mark had a falling out and then were reconciled. Soon after writing his letter to Philemon, Paul also had a parting of the ways with Demas. Nevertheless, the work went on. What kind of issues have you had in working with others and how did you resolve those issues?