Teamwork - Monday Musing, May 23, 2022
Teamwork. When members of a group collaborate to achieve a common goal or complete a task, it is said that they are operating as an efficient team. Your church staff meet monthly, typically the day following the Cabinet meeting; information from the Cabinet is disseminated before the rest of the church receives the latest news. It is important for the staff to operate as a team, and communication is key. At last Wednesday’s meeting, we were aware that painters were arriving the next morning to begin painting Katie’s and Amy’s offices, which meant that all the furniture needed to be cleared out. Following our meeting, the staff leapt into action, clearing out the two offices in breakneck speed. Everyone participated, using their skills to accomplish the task at hand. We laughed, bonded, and had fun.
This simple task demonstrated that we were operating as a team. Since teamwork is based on relationships, our task at hand became a way in which we could trust one another. At the foundation of every relationship is trust – if you lack trust or do not believe team members will do what they say they will do – the work environment is not as efficient as it could be. I am very proud of our staff and value the gifts and talents that they all bring to our team. I pray that you, too, recognize the value that each member of the staff contributes to our mutual ministry.
Commenting on yesterday’s lesson from Acts, I said that being part of a community of faith is much like white water rafting. It looks simple and fun, yet the complexities and challenges make it far from a smooth ride. The river is always changing. It does not matter how many times you have gone rafting, each occasion is different. Each crew member has a job, a role to play. To be a good team player, one knows to operate within the bounds of the assigned role. You may think you are a better helmsman, but if you are supposed to be rowing (and are not because your eye is on the helm), then the raft will have a difficult time navigating the river.
In his letter to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul says that God works in different ways in different people: “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone” (1 Cor 12:4-6). Paul uses gifts, service, and activities as roughly equivalent (just as Spirit, Lord, and God are equivalent). The three terms are not distinct categories, but they highlight different aspects of the same phenomena: 1) that the abilities are given, not something we can take credit for ourselves; 2) they are given for service, to help other people; and 3) the activities produce results in our lives. The main point is that God works in different ways in different people. Paul summarizes the purpose: “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7). Spiritual gifts are not for a person’s private benefit – they are to help the church as a whole. In other words, working efficiently as a member of a team.
Our raft has navigated challenging waters of ministry these past two years, but operating as members of a team – bringing our individual skills, talents, and experiences – we will ensure effective and efficient activities for the common good. See you in church!