Last week, we talked about how great teammates play together as a team and ended by asking what it would look like if our organizations, the Church, and our ministries worked together like a great soccer team. Using the orphan care arena that I work in every day, let’s look at what great teammates and teams look like in the real world off the soccer pitch (a/k/a field).
In orphan care, the team members are spread out around the world and are doing a whole lot of different things. Orphan care workers are an extremely diverse, talented, and far-reaching bunch of people with a lot of different organizations of different sizes and different budgets, individuals with different skills, gifts, talents, and platform sizes.
And that’s the way it’s supposed to be. While it’s often difficult for a team of far-reaching and diverse teammates to get on the same page and work together, and may often resemble the Bad News Bears more than a World Cup Champion (sorry to mix sports there : )), such teammates are exactly what the “orphan care team” needs if it’s going to effectively alleviate the orphan care crisis.
God has created each and every one of us to fulfill a specific role in His kingdom—he hasn’t created us for our (or our organization’s) own glory, but to be members of His team and use our skills and talents alongside others doing the same to bring Him glory and honor–to work together as co-laborers with Christ to make all things new . . . to help bring a little bit of shalom to our broken world.
This is nothing new. I didn’t make this up. It’s woven throughout Scripture. Paul talks about it quite a bit . . . take a look at Romans 12:3-8 and Ephesians 2:10 for a couple examples.
That we’re all different and get to work together with our different skills, talents, passions, and gifts is great news. If we were all the same, a lot wouldn’t get done, and a lot would certainly not get done well.
But it’s only great news if we don’t want to do it all on our own . . . if we’re not worried about getting the credit for our work . . . if we see ourselves, our Christian brothers and sisters, and our various organizations, churches, and ministries as ONE unified, kingdom-building team.
It’s only great news if we work together as a team, and create synergies by unifying our efforts around the common goals and success measures we have discussed earlier in this series.
Unless everyone in orphan care ministry is on the same page and works together, our work will not have a synergistic, multiplicative effect.
Instead, at best, we’ll just have different things working parallel with each other.
At worst, we’ll have confused people and organizations fighting among each other, distracting each other from the complex and huge amount of work before us, and potentially negating the effect of any work that we’re doing.
It’s interesting to me what simple math can teach us about the importance of working together. While 3 x 3 equals 9, 3 x 0 equals zero. When you choose to not work with others, you not only fail to multiply your efforts . . . you could potentially wipe out the effectiveness of your work.
Let’s not do that.
Let’s work with each other as teammates to make each other stronger, in orphan care and whatever else you are doing in the world. You with me?