One of the greatest challenges we face in this life is learning to work together with other people. This is especially difficult today because we are continually bombarded by messages that urge us to do just the opposite. “Be your own person!” “Do your own thing!” “Look out for number one!” “Get yours while the getting is good!” “Nice people finish last!” Yet these self-oriented attitudes are tearing away at the very fabric of our society. Marriages, families, churches and communities—are crumbling as everyone pulls in different directions instead of working as a team. To function as team, we have to relate better to other people. What then are the qualities that enable us to become effective team members?

The first quality is we must share the same sense of mission. Our goal as Christians is to have the mind of Jesus Christ (Phpp. 2:5). Jesus said: “I and My Father are One” (Jn. 10:30). Jesus and the Father are focused on the same goal; the salvation of mankind. We too must focus on the same goals as Jesus Christ and God the Father (Jn. 17:11). The second requirement is for us to work together to achieve the same goal. Acts 4 records dramatic results when the church prayed together about the same goal. “All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need 2 (Acts 4:32-35). A third requirement is the need to put aside our personal opinions and agendas for the good of the team. This prevents conflicts and divisions that hinder a team from achieving its goal. Jesus put the goal of the team first when He said to the Father, “Not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39). A fourth requirement is the need to understand the importance of individual roles to the overall mission. When we each see how our own efforts contribute to the overall goal, we are more inclined to work for the success of the team. The Bible outlines God-given roles for members of marriages, families, churches and other social units. Husbands are to love and provide for their wives, and wives are to love and submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:22–23). Children are to honour their parents in the Lord, and parents are not to provoke their children (Eph. 6:1–4). Employees are to work hard and be respectful of employers, and employers are to be considerate of employees. Church members are to respect their leaders, while leaders must be respectable and show loving concern for their flock (1 Thess, 5:12–13; Phpp. 2:19–22).

The fifth quality is the need for us to strive to do the best job possible! The Bible principle is: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Eccl. 9:10). Teams succeed when everyone works

together at an optimal level! The sixth requirement for teamwork is motivation! The Laodicean church was rebuked for becoming “lukewarm” in their efforts to do the work of God. Jesus motivated His disciples by outlining clearly what the future held for them if they developed as mature Christians (Matt. 19:28). As a consequence, they caught the vision (Acts 1:8), their motivation was contagious and the church grew (Acts 2:47). The seventh and final requirement for a

successful team is perseverance and endurance. We cannot give up when in the face of trials or when the going gets tough. “He who

endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13). We must persevere and endure in our effort to work through problems as we look to God to show us the way (1 Cor 10:13).God wants each of us to be on His team! This is why it is important that we work together as a team.

Remain blessed.        E. O. Medaiyese, Snr. Pastor.

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