God gives a vision to an individual, who then imparts it to others. Once others have caught the vision they will be willing to work with it and enlist other too. Nehemiah, in chapter 2:11-12 rose in the night and with a few men went out to look at the city and to show them that the walls were down. He did so by using a visual example challenge these men to look and see what he could see as burden that he received from God. Thus we now see in the passage below that the people had a mind to work.
Nehemiah 4:6 So we built the wall, and all the wall was joined together to the half of it. For the people had a mind to work. (MKJV)
God is an initiator; He births in the heart of man or women a dream, desire and a vision for things of His Kingdom, then, under the unction of the Holy Spirit men or women set off to bring that dream to fruition. The devil is a reactor and it is only after he sees the things of God happening that he tries to steal and destroy them from happening. He is always late and we need to have a resolve not to change direction because of the devil. If the plan is of God it will come to pass. Martin Luther said, “For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel…Thus is the Devil ever God’s Ape”. But as I stated previously ‘when a conflict occurred that in some cases caused a positive movement forward in Biblical theological understanding, albeit to be realised in a later generation of theologians’. But it may also be a set of outdated thinking patterns that work against the things of God. We see in the next Scripture we see the enemy coming along after the work had started as response and reaction to a work that was birthed by God in a leader’s heart, but the positive outcome was that the believers were watchful and prayed.
Nehemiah 4:7 And it happened, when Sanballat and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem had gone up, and that the breaks were being filled, they were very angry. 8 And all of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and do harm to it. 9 But we made our prayer to our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. (MKJV)
The servants of God need to watch and pray. A believer may receive a revelation from the Holy Spirit about what is about to take place, or what possible changes may be needed, but before any action is taken, the matter must be submitted to the leadership, as the key words in the above,’ “we made…” this indicate consultation. The word came to the leader who imparted it to the people. The enemy came along in reaction to steal the people’s peace, but the leaders came back with a word and settled it with an action.
Nehemiah 4:17 the ones who built on the wall, and the ones who carried burdens; with those who were lifting, one a worker in the work, and one held a weapon.18 For of the builders, each one had his sword tied by his side, and built. And he who sounded the trumpet was beside me. (MKJV)
God never bypasses the leader, but if the leader is not listening, God may talk to one who is listening. Nevertheless, that person ought never to operate independently. The leader of a team alone is accountable to God for the wellbeing of the local church. The team members are responsible and have a duty to love and care for each other, but in some cases this does not happen. The leader’s concern should be for the wellbeing of all in his care.
Hebrews 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.17 Yield to those leading you, and be submissive, for they watch for your souls, as those who must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you. (MKJV)
An example; I led a team of people to India on a missionary journey and while one of the team was preaching in a small church, a well-meaning brother started praying for the people at the back of the room. His action disrupted the meeting. It is not easy to be a leader, but it is God who puts people in positions of leadership and authority. The plan for the service had been discussed and was being followed up to this point. The aim was to bring teaching, preaching and healing according to the format that Jesus followed. We had planned to conclude with an altar call for salvation, and then a call for prayer for healing. As the leader, I had to ask the man to stop praying and wait to the end of the preaching. He did not understand that his behaviour was disorderly, or that he had no authority to change the plan we had collectively made.
1 Thessalonians 5:12 And, brothers, we beseech you to know those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and who admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. (MKJV)
That team member, although meaning well, needed to understand that he would be judged by God and the team leaders for his behaviour in disrupting the meeting which may cause someone to miss a blessing.
Each member has to surrender his own wishes for the benefit of the team. Each of us have a part to play and each part is very important. Failing to work as a team can be caused by:
- Lack of teaching on how to function in a team
- Selfishness, which indicates a desire to take the glory. This is nothing less than idolatry
- Rebellion of authority
The true origin of this statement has been lost over history, but it may belong to an early Collingwood football team, but it is a sporting truth “A champion team can beat a team of champions”. A champion team works together as a whole or as a collective synergy. With a team of champions, the whole is fragmented into individuals doing their own thing, each champion seeking his own glory. We each have a part to play and each part is important to the proper functioning of the team, therefore we have a champion team.
 Pink, A.W. 2010, on the arch counterfeiter, Satan – that “illigitimate coiner”