I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.
- Philippines 1:27b (NLT)
A couple of years ago, I was in Cambodia doing some camp training for sport leaders from East Asia and noticed a coffee shop by our hotel called Teamwork Coffee. The next morning, I had to get my coffee fix and couldn’t wait to see what Teamwork Coffee was all about. I wasn’t disappointed! The coffee was outstanding and the service was great. The staff truly worked together as a team. They were living out their name. It was a blessing to see on this saying on their wall, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” It still makes me smile when I think about seeing that classic teamwork principle plastered on the wall.
Over the past 11 years, traveling to dozens of countries, I have been blown away with the commitment to teamwork that happens in ministry outside of the United States. It is a default for them. They wouldn’t ever consider doing ministry without other people and other ministries. Unfortunately for us in the United States, we have the people and resources to do ministry by ourselves. However, teamwork is a non-negotiable ingredient for international ministry, and I have learned that “Nothing Beats Teamwork!”
We have been taught that doing things by ourselves is valued and celebrated. Even working with others can show weakness – like you need others to be successful. There are many enemies of teamwork, but here are three major ones.
The Enemies of Teamwork:
We are Lone Rangers.
We are Blockers.
We are Me-Monsters.
We drift toward isolation.
We drive toward connection.
God’s Word is loaded with 100 “one anothers” throughout 94 verses in the New Testament – love one another, accept one another, serve one another, and encourage one another are just a few. Two-thirds of these verses deal with the Church getting along and Christians loving each other. The Bible is filled with examples, principles, and commands to work together, not to work alone. Here are three key biblical principles on teamwork.
The Bible on Teamwork:
There is incredible power in teamwork, but it takes work. It is harder than doing it alone. It is messy because of people. You have to trust and not control. You have to celebrate others’ successes and not get all the credit. But at the end of the day, teamwork trumps being alone. More gets accomplished and it pleases God. Here are three powerful principles of teamwork.
The Power of Teamwork:
WE > ME
Unity in the commUNITY
After playing sports for more than 40 years, I have been on some good teams and some bad teams. After doing ministry for almost 30 years, I have also been on some good teams and some bad teams. My prayer is that we will lock arms with other ministries, leaders, churches, and organizations, even when we don’t need to. Because I have learned God’s heart explodes when His children work, play and serve together…because Team Works!
Lord, teach me to be a great teammate.
I want to always be a part of Kingdom teams that please You.