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Words of the Week – Are You the Lone Ranger or Tonto?
By Barbara Bryant, Contributing Writer
Published September 22, 2016
Barbara Bryant

Barbara Bryant

Recently, I watched an old episode of “The Lone Ranger.” I invited my 18-year-old son to join me.

Of course, he responded, “Why?” I explained, “Son, this is a great opportunity to show you how Jesus wants Christians to work in ministry.” (For those of you who don’t know me, I try to use every opportunity as a teaching moment.)

My son replied, “Mom! Jesus is like the Lone Ranger?” I smiled and said, “He’s not, but His works are.”

Like my son, you may be wondering what Jesus has to do with the Lone Ranger. The saga of the Lone Ranger involves a masked man riding the range astride his powerful stallion, Silver. During each episode, he sought to bring evil men with evil plans to justice in the Wild West.

And though he seemed to be a one-man show in his fight for justice, he could not overcome his enemies without the help of someone else, a friend. His name was Tonto, the Native American who would always come to his rescue just in the nick of time. The Lone Ranger could never have successfully completed his mission without Tonto.

No matter how many times Tonto rescued the Lone Ranger in his hour of need, he never became the headliner. Instead, he gladly played the role of the supporting actor, which brings me to my point.

Many Christians want to be “The Lone Ranger” in the church today. They want to be the one-man band — the Lone Ranger in the choir, in ministry, in leadership, and the list goes on, because they feel as if they are the only anointed one through whom God can work. But this is a complete misunderstanding of the character of God.

According to scripture, God is no respecter of persons, which means He isn’t into one-man shows. Instead, He wants to use us working in sync with one another, together using our gifts to bring Him alone glory.

Could it be that some people who are Lone Rangers in the ministry are insecure, and are at times suspicious of other peoples’ motives? Or, is it that they are afraid someone might do it better than they can? Or could it be they want control for selfish reasons? Or could it be they want all of the credit and accolades—the glory for themselves. Lord, deliver your people from such attitudes.

What many people tend to forget is that the Lone Ranger had a friend who had his back. And just like the Lone Ranger needed Tonto, you need somebody. The Bible says that Jesus sent them out two by two. Why? They were to be witnesses together. In addition, they were more powerful together. Take a look at the following scriptures:

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20, NKJV)

“And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.” (Mark 6:7)

“This will be the third time I am coming to you. By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” (2 Corinthians 13:1)

Jesus’ disciples were sent out in pairs so that together they could be witnesses as to whether those who heard them accepted or rejected the Gospel. In that day, one person’s word without a witness was not acceptable when it came to the things of God. Even today, the word of a single person is not enough to establish the validity of anything.

Jesus wants us to work together in ministry, just like the Lone Ranger and Tonto. For where would the Lone Ranger be without Tonto, or Fred be without Barney, or Shirley be without Laverne, or Lucy be without Ethel, or Moses be without Joshua, or Elijah be without Elisha, or Paul without Timothy?

Stop trying to be a Lone Ranger. Teamwork in Jesus is the key to success.

To learn more, visit barbarabryant.com.

Categories: Religion
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