Coach John Wooden says, “Team spirit means you are willing to sacrifice personal considerations for the welfare of all. That defines a team player.”
Cooperation with other people can be difficult, but the sacrifice to work with others is always worth the cost. This is true because we’re always able to do more together than we could ever do by ourselves. Coach Wooden was able to win 11 NCAA national championships with his formula of sacrifice that produced teamwork. He or his players would have never been able to do that by themselves, but because they were willing to work together, they were able to accomplish great things.
One of the clear descriptions for the church in the New Testament is the image and idea of the church being the “body of Christ.” In Romans 12, Paul talks about how the body of Christ consists of multiple members that come together by cooperating and playing the role that only each individual part could play in the body. Paul specifically says in verse 18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Peace and cooperation go hand-in-hand when it comes to living out the plan Jesus has for His Church. You can’t have cooperation without peace, and when you have peace, it allows healthy cooperation to exist.
This idea is not just good in theory, but it actually has real world results. The real world result is the idea of synergy. The technical definition of synergy is when a whole creates something greater than its parts. In other words, we’re better when we work together. A powerful example of this is that a draft horse can pull 8,000 pounds by itself, but when put together with another horse of the same strength it can pull up to 24,000 pounds (and 32,000 if they are adequately trained). Notice that cooperation of the horses doesn’t just double their pulling capacity; it quadruples what they can accomplish. This, too, is true with the body of Christ.
What is God calling you to cooperate on with other members of the body of Christ? Maybe you could cooperate by signing up to serve at a Christmas service at church? Remember, we’re better together!