A Sent-minister has the job of leading packs of divergent persons who act like they don't want the direction he offers, but celebrate the results of obeying his instructions. He's duty-bound to influence them to take difficult but necessary decisions for their own benefits. And while they complain that, “He can't possibly understand what we're going through”, they still want him to 'speak a word from God' into their lives!
And with all these He has to stand out in front of a flock that must be remodeled into a team that works.
But what really makes a team work?
First things first, I believe the strength of a ministry or workplace team should be God. Both team leader and team members should derive strength from Him, while managing and exploiting the rich potentials that He has deposited in each team member.
Having said this, let us consider just two types of Teams and Teamwork. Without doubt, both had their successes.
1. THE BUILDERS OF THE TOWER OF BABEL AND CITY [Ref: Genesis 11:1-9]
SIZE WAS NOT AN ISSUE. Their specific numerical size was not given. The numerical strength of a team is less relevant than the effectiveness and productivity of that team. As team leader, the sent-minister's focus should be on the Potential, Productivity and Effectiveness of the team rather than the size, although there is no gainsaying the value of numbers.
ONE AIM, ONE GOAL. They minded the same objective. The bible states that they were “of one language, and of one speech”. It is unsafe to team up with persons who aims are different from yours. Their language was void of personal interests, “…let us”
ONE CLEARLY DEFINED GOAL. A Team that has no clearly defined goal will achieve nothing. Those men set out to build a city like none ever built before, one that matched the glories of the heavens. Through specific goals, a team's potentials can be harnessed towards a definite direction.
THEY WORKED OUT THEIR GOAL TOGETHER “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower WHICH THE CHILDREN OF MEN BUILDED.” On seeing the definite progress being made and the sure success of that project, God Himself testified, “…NOTHING WILL BE RESTRAINED FROM THEM WHICH THEY HAVE IMAGINED TO DO” But because He was not the origin of their strength, God reversed their oneness by dividing their interests via different languages and their ultimate cataclysm started. The bible states “…And they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth…” Gen 11v 8-9.
Though their goal was clear, and their purpose in sync, the ordinarily success-oriented principle of teamwork failed for them - just because God was not on that building team. The truth is, expecting progress in such an environment is, at best, holding a handful of air! Little wonder the building of the city of Babel ended up how it did. It does not matter what you are dealing with, let God have a say in it.
2. GIDEON AND HIS WARRIORS - [Ref: Judges 7]
This case is somewhat similar to the Babel situation but with a slight twist. Gideon also had a goal, and responsibly devised a means to achieve it. Again like the 'Babel builders', he did not involve God in the team assembly process.
Man is not naturally bent to involving God in decision making. You can see this evident in man's choices of appointees for workplace positions in the private and public sector, and unfortunately too in the work of the ministry. But Gideon's case became different when he turned around at God's direction although he had laid out his own plans. He ultimately succeeded in his endeavour.
We can therefore make up a comprehensive list of principles that make Teams work, remain strong and highly effective:
1. Be led by God - Involve Him in your team processes. Seek His direction for every action and reaction.
2. Recognize the potentials of individual members.
3. Maintain the same aim and clearly defined goal.
4. Work out, and work at your goals together.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:19, “..If two of you shall agree it shall be done” Matt 18 v 19.
God bless you richly.
Tope A. Banjo
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