‘I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.’ — Romans 16:1–2
Years ago, I first heard the motivational statement, ‘There is no I in team’. Though rather cliche, it is illustrated beautifully for the church in Romans 16. The great Apostle Paul, who led the way in evangelising much of the world, recognised dozens of people who partnered with him in this endeavour.
He begins by commending Phebe to the church at Roman. He describes her as a sister, a servant of the church, and a helper (‘succourer’) of many and of myself. He asks them to receive her as is appropriate for saints and assist her in any business she has need of.
He then proceeds to give greetings to and pass on greetings from numerous people that he loved and for whom he was very grateful. These were individuals who were helpers, people who risked their lives, hard workers, and people who were like family to Paul.
The work of God continues to move forward in great ways through the amazing efforts of people like those listed in Romans 16, people who serve and sacrifice and risk their lives. Behind every good church, every good pastor, and every good missionary is an army of supporters who hold up their arms and work hard for the advancement of the gospel. Praise God for them and praise God for the opportunity to be numbered among them.