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Christian Leadership Foundations 6 - TeamSample

Christian Leadership Foundations 6 - Team

DAY 1 OF 5

WE ARE CREATED FOR TEAM

Leadership Devotion

God is Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in which each person has a role but always works in relationship with and dependence on the other persons. From the first chapter of Scripture, the unity and interdependence of the Trinity are made clear. Creation was a team effort. God said, “Let us make mankind in our image” (1:26). The teamwork of our Trinity God that runs throughout Scripture is first evidenced in this passage. Team is inherent to the very being and nature of God. God is a team: always has been, always will be. Our concept of Team flows from the nature of God.

Genesis 1 tells us that God did a great job with creation. After each creative flourish, the narrator emphasizes that God saw it was really good (1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25), but there was one aspect of creation God did not think was good (2:18). This was the creation of a lone person. It’s not that God made a mistake. God always intended to create a pair of people who reflected the plurality of the Trinity (1:26).

So when God created humans, he created a team of people in his image and likeness (1:26) - a man and woman who were made of the same stuff and yet were different. They were a couple designed to work together in the same way the Trinity did – loving each other, accepting each other, serving each other, helping each other, and being dependent on each other. They were unashamed of their differences represented by their different bodies (2:25). The “one flesh” nature of the marriage relationship beautifully mirrored the interdependent community at the heart of the Trinity.

The place of the human Team goes beyond marriage. When God said it was not good for mankind to be alone (2:18), he was not just thinking of marriage (although that was foundational) but about how humans were to function. Everyone (married or not) is designed to work in dependence on others. The poet John Donne said it well, “No man is an island.” We need each other to achieve our God-given destiny. We do our best work in relationship with God and relationship with each other.

To Contemplate

Who do you work with in such a way that you think, “This is really good”?

Leadership Reflection

The biblical emphasis on Team goes beyond the creation narrative. The concept of Team is embedded in the whole of Scripture.

When God chose a nation (Israel) to represent him to the world, he gave his people laws that governed their relationship with him and their relationships with each other. They were to live in a loving and just community that protected and supported each member regardless of their social standing or contribution to society. The Israelites were to exemplify what God was like, not only in their moral behavior but also in their gracious community. God wanted the world to know that the people who loved him were inevitably involved in a caring community of people who worked together for good and justice.

This theme of community (or team) continues into the ministry of Jesus. The followers who lived in his new kingdom would not only live radically obedient lives but would serve together in a deeply loving and interdependent community modeled on the relationship of the Trinity. This is what Jesus prays for just before his death:

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23)

Paul takes up this ideal for the early church. He doesn’t use the word team, but his equivalent is the concept of “body.” The church is like a body. It is made up of a wide range of parts that work together under the direction of the head (Christ) to do God’s work. No member of the church can function effectively alone. We need the body’s diversity, gifts, and mutuality to serve God well. We’re designed by God and empowered by the Spirit to do life and ministry together.

Here are a few verses that reinforce this concept:

  • Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. (Rom. 12:4-6)
  • The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. (1 Cor. 12:12)
  • In fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (1 Cor. 12:18-20)
  • From him [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph. 4:16)

Some of the ramifications of Paul’s “body” metaphor include:

1. People have different gifts and different contributions. God organizes this.

2. Each person has a vital part to play in the growth and ministry of the church. We need everyone.

3. The church is meant to be bound together by loving relationships.

4. The church is most effective when everyone (all parts) works productively together under God’s direction.

While this is true of the universal church, it is also true of the local church and ministry teams within the local church. The theology of “body” is meant to apply at all levels of the functioning church. So let me rearrange the four statements above to refer to teams of Christians serving together in a team:

1. Members of the team have different gifts and different contributions. God organizes this.

2. Each person has a vital part to play in the growth and ministry of the team.

3. Loving relationships bind the team together.

4. The team is most effective when everyone works productively together.

From beginning to end, the Bible calls for God’s people to live and serve in Team. This reflects the true nature of God to the world, provides the loving security and support we need and is the best way to ensure that all the God-given gifts of the body contribute effectively.

Relating and serving in Team is not a matter of preference, personality, style, or structure. Team is a principle deeply embedded in the nature of God, in the nature of Israel, and the nature of the church. God calls us to minister and mission in Team.

Day 2

About this Plan

Christian Leadership Foundations 6 - Team

Christian leadership is radically different from any other leadership. With the church and community desperately needing godly leaders, this plan forms the sixth of seven biblical foundations for Christian leaders. "Team...

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We would like to thank Queensland Baptists for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://qb.org.au/

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