Nov7ThuNovember 7, 2019
Do we really believe in teamwork?
Most people know at least a few catchy slogans about teamwork. There’s the acronym: “Together Everyone Achieves More.” There’s the pun: “There’s no “I in Team.” And there is the wisdom gained through experience: “A team is more than the sum of its parts.”
But let me just play the devil’s advocate here for a second. If you want quick results, don’t work as a team. Work independently, spend your own money, and don’t tell anyone what you’re up to. That’s the fastest way to get results.
So why do we talk about teamwork? If it isn’t the fastest way of getting results, then why bother?
Many people don’t bother. They become self-employed, experts in their field, but they work alone. Yet for God’s people living in community, teamwork is not just a means to an end, but it is the goal to which we are striving.
What does success look like here at Grace Lutheran Church? Would we feel successful if we had 50% more people attending worship? Would we feel successful if giving increased, and we were able to meet our budget needs? Both of those are important considerations, but they are the fruit of a healthy community. The roots of this community are our identity as a family. God has brought us together as brothers and sisters in Christ. We are members of his body. Our purpose is to function as his body in the world, working as a team to communicate the love of Jesus to everyone.
This fall, I have been trying more often to work as part of a team. It’s not easy! I get it wrong all the time. Whenever I find myself taking over responsibility, cleaning up other people’s messes, spending my time on little projects that need doing, instead of communicating with my teammates and being faithful to my role, I’m ultimately choosing not to be a team player. And it hurts a team when one person opts out.
That’s why more and more, I’m talking on the phone or writing an email or meeting with a teammate, instead of doing projects. I’m seldom working alone, and when I am, it’s usually preparing something to share with the team.
What teams are you a part of? What is your role on this team called Grace Lutheran Church? And how have you been doing with the slow and often frustrating process of cooperating with your team-mates?
We are a team here. I am honoured to be playing the position of “lead pastor.” I am thankful for the position each of you play. We couldn’t do it without you. So let's build each other up, communicate often, pace ourselves so that no one gets left behind, and celebrate what God is doing in and through this team.