Saturday, November 12, 2011

Teams and the Refining Work of God

From Appendix 3: “For Team Leaders” in Spiritual Survival Handbook for Cross-Cultural Workers:

When we begin as team leaders we believe we are on board with God’s agenda—an agenda to reach a lost people group, a lost city and to help build His church. This is indeed His agenda, but it isn’t His only one. He has another agenda. One that feels often like it is competing with the one we already own, but which in reality is there to enhance it. This agenda is to invest our lives into a group of teammates so that as a healthy team His work can be accomplished and His love shown. Sometimes this investment takes much sacrifice—a laying down of our own “work” in order that our efforts might be multiplied in others. These teammates aren’t there just as tools to be utilized in completing our vision. They are there to be loved and related to. They are there to refine us and for us to refine them. They are present not to strain us or frustrate us, but to more fully represent Jesus in our location than we could ever do by ourselves. By embracing this reality we honor God, honor our calling and are engaged in the charge given to Peter which is also given to us—“Feed my sheep.”

This is a good reminder that even though they can be difficult and frustrating sometimes, teams are God’s idea.  We mainly hurt ourselves if we think we don’t need the leadership, accountability, and sharpening that teams provide.  Of course we can always take God’s idea of “team” and mess it up (unfortunately we do this all the time), but bad examples don’t mean we can individualistically go as a “lone ranger” just “do our own thing.”  We are communal creatures made in the image of our triune God- we need each other in teams.

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