If we fail to plan we plan to fail.
A team is based on the need to surrender the desire for personal greatness to the greatness of the whole. We each have a part to play and each part is important. Do you want to see others develop and gain more confidence? Do you want to be the centre of attention?
God moves through faith and through the faithful steward. God welcomes the faithful servant into heaven with these words “enter in good and faithful servant”. He delights in the faithfulness in His stewards.
But this raises the question of what makes a faithful servant.
The areas listed below may not look very spiritual, and you may say they are only practical steps, but let me re-assure you by saying this: “They are very spiritual”.
If you are neglectful of any of the list below, your work for the Lord will suffer, and not reach its full potential. The first things you teach are the things people see in you and what you are doing.
As my teacher (Tony Smits) would say, there are five areas of faithfulness and they are listed below.
1.Punctuality… keeping to arranged time: arriving or taking place at the arranged time
**She is punctual at starting the meeting
2.Reliability… dependability: able to be trusted to do what is expected or has been promised
**She is extremely reliable and a hard worker.
3.Perseverance (Stick-ability)… determined continuation with something: steady and continued action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite difficulties or setbacks.
**He never gives up.
4.Responsibility… provide an answer: to reply to something or to someone, in spoken or written words.
**He always gives a report to his boss and keeps his fellow worker informed; therefore he is trustworthy. You know the job will get done.
5.Accountability… responsible: responsible to somebody else or to others, or responsible for something
**She does not act on her own but is answerable to her boss
The Church is no different from the world in its approach to dealing with group dynamics, and how the group can be effective in the building of a cross-cultural church. There are many examples of teamwork in the Bible. The New Testament church is compared to a body, with each part functioning in its proper order. Every group is faced with problems that are unique to that particular group. We need to face the fact that as a group, we have personality conflicts, and must work together to achieve God’s vision for the local church, of which we are a part. The Universal Church crosses many cultural boundaries, and we need to be sensitive to cultural differences if we are to have a vision for the lost.
Every team has a leader
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.
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 a dream, a desire and a vision for the advancement of His Kingdom. Then man under the unction of the Holy Spirit sets 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 then tries to steal the vision and deflect us from God’s purposes. He can do this by putting strong emphasis on minor issues. It happened in the early Church when there was a dispute between the Jewish and Greek believers over the care of widows. The apostles refused to be distracted from preaching and appointed deacons to oversee these relatively minor issues (Acts 6:1-4).
The devil is always late and we need to have a resolve not to change direction because of the devil, because 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”
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)
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.
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 does not bypass the leader, but if the leader is not listening, God may talk to one who may be listening. Nevertheless, that person ought never to operate independently. The leader and his team are responsible for each other. The leader’s concern should be for the wellbeing of all in his care, but each person has the Holy Spirit to follow. In the Kingdom of God there are no dictators; a humble attitude of cooperation should be paramount.
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)
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 the 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 for people and wait until the end of the preaching. He did not understand that his behaviour was out of order; he had no authority to change the plan we had collectively made.
1Thessalonians 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 for his behaviour, because disrupting a meeting could 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:
1. Lack of teaching on how to function in a team
2. Selfishness, which indicates a desire to take the glory. This is nothing less than idolatry
3. Rebellion of authority
A champion team can beat a team of champions. A champion team works together as a whole or as a collective. A team of champions, is where 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.