In Colossians 4:7-18, the inspired Apostle refers to those who were helpers and supporters of the ministry. In fact, Paul calls them "fellow workers unto the kingdom of God." When we look closely at the list of names, we see that they fall into three broad categories.
Tychicus and Onesimus were close helpers and supporters of Paul in his work. They came from very different backgrounds, but both served Paul according to their abilities, and Paul valued them. We also see that both of them were "faithful" and there is no greater help to those directly involved in full-time ministry. Then we read of Aristarchus who was a companion with Paul in some of his most perilous missionary efforts. He did not shrink from the battle. There is also Mark. Mark, the young and immature man who did not continue with Paul and greatly disappointed him. He was now restored to a place of trust. His youth and early failures did not disqualify him, but, he had to become a man worthy of Paul's trust. Along with Justus, these men formed a close support structure for Paul.
The was also a second group whose support for Paul was more directed toward the church. Epaphras labored greatly for the church although he was in a distant city. He labored fervently in prayer and we should also not discount this support. If we can do nothing else, we can and should pray. Luke also helped by being willing to go wherever and do whatever the cause required. But we also read about Demas. We know from II Tim. 4:9-11 that Demas left Paul and returned to "the world." This was a great trial and disappointment to Paul in his ministry. But knowing this helps us to understand that there will be disappointments and people will fail us in the great work - and this should not discourage us.
Lastly, Paul encourages the church in Colossae to see that they are not alone in this great effort. They are to be in fellowship with the church at Laodicea and share the apostolic instruction. He also directly refers to those who give of their own property by having the church meet in their homes and encourages them in this labor. Lastly, Archippus is admonished to be faithful to the calling that he has. From time to time we all need a little kick in the pants to keep on going.
So, here is your "kick in the pants." What is your calling and gift in the church? How are you supporting the great work? The Scriptures have given you many examples of the diversity of activity here in Colossians 4. What is your place? What are you going to do?