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Team Talk…Pt 5

Roman Army-Locking Shields

Ps 133: 1, 3 How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity!  For there the Lord commands his blessing.

When the Roman army went into battle they developed a strategy called,’Testudo’ (it became known as the, ‘Tortoise’). The command,’As One’ was given and each soldier would stand with his shield overlapping the shield of the soldier next to him. Thus producing a near impregnable unit and a battle formation that crushed the front lines of the enemy forcing them to break rank; this unity of locking shields as one won many battles.

When David became King of Israel his first action was to establish his throne on Mt Zion, but to do this he had to dispossess the Jebusites who lived there. Zion was a near impregnable stronghold but David took it immediately. Why was this? It was because when crowned King, David made a covenant with his people that united all 12 tribes (1 Chron 11:1-5) Symbolically they had locked their shields together and became as one.

This unity unleashed the power of God in Israel’s army that crushed all their enemies and secured an unprecedented era of peace that freed David’s son Solomon to build the temple and establish Israel as the foremost nation in the earth.

Meditation point: Am I in unity with my team. Have I locked shields with those around me to become as one?

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Team Talk….. Pt 4

All for one and one for all.

Phil 2:20-21  For I have no one else of a kindred (same) spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.  (NASU)

Paul could confidently send Timothy to help the leaders of the Philippian Church because Timothy had proved himself to Paul that he could be relied on to teach the Philippians the ways of Paul. He knew that Timothy would not ditch his teaching and teach something different. This is because Timothy had learned how to be a member of Paul’s team. He had the same spirit as Paul.

There must have been numerous times where Timothy disagreed with Paul’s methods but he submitted and served Paul in order to keep team unity. So often today we say we want to be a team member but when the leader asks us to do something we don’t like or it doesn’t fit with our way of doing things, we baulk, sulk, make known our displeasure. This creates undercurrents, tensions and disunity in the team.

There is only one way to keep unity in a team; when the team leader asks us to do something , unless it is sin or against our conscience we must submit and do it. Yes, we can express our point of view but if the leader says they want it done their way, then our response is to obey. Submitting to the leader produces in us a team spirit and when the leader knows we have the same spirit as him/her they will give to us more responsiblity.

Jesus said we must serve in another man’s ministry before He will give us our own ministry.Luke 16:12  And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?   (KJV)   Many have gone from Church to Church looking for somewhere to start their own ministry and have wasted years of their lives simply because they would not submit.  May it never be said of us!

Meditation point: Am I willing to be a servant first before becoming a leader.

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Team Talk…. Pt 3

1 Chron 29:5   Now, who is willing to consecrate him/herself today to the Lord?”     (NIV)      In Pt 2 we looked at team in a Church from the leadership side. Now let’s look at team from the followers side. In society we are paid to do a job but in the Church it is voluntary and we can easily develop a half hearted, lazy, sub standard approach to our commitment. We have musicians who can play few chords, singers who sing flat,  preachers who rarely study scripture and team members who are lax in punctuality and loyalty.

This has produced an image of the Church which is dowdy, old fashioned and amateurish. As D.L.Moody would say,No a thousand times no. We must confront such a mindset and raise the standard of excellence. This means becoming expert in our field, taking the appropriate exams, be modern in outlook and showing a passion in all we do. Without this commitment the Church will always be out of step and lagging behind the changes taking place in the world; the church then becomes an anachronism (something from a bygone era).

Meditation point: Am I motivated as a volunteer member to give to my team the excellence and expertise it demands?

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Team Talk….Pt 2

Leader by Example

Phil 4:9 Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.         (Message Bible)

Motivating people to work together as a team is a 2 sided coin.  First there is the leaders side. In society where people work for a boss they are being paid to do a job, therefore the boss can issue commands as they see fit; and because the worker is being paid they have to obey or their employment is terminated.

In the Church however the leader has to be able to motivate people who are volunteers, therefore a leader cannot have a cavalier attitude towards issuing commands otherwise relationships will break down. No, the Christian leader is to be a servant leader, one who is there to help the team members develop their gifts/calling and reach their fullest potential. It is leadership by example, it is leadership Jesus style.                 Matt 20:25-27  So Jesus got them (the disciples) together to settle things down. He said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads.  It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.   (Message Bible)

This raises the stakes of leadership because to lead by example requires a degree of maturity and spirituality; we can no longer get away with just having the title of leader we have to be seen to be living the life of a leader and earn the right to lead ………continued in Pt 3.

Meditation Point: Do I lead by example?

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Team Talk… Pt 1

Team – Band, group, company, gang, partnership, squad, troop, league, unit.

The concept of a team was taken from harnessing or yoking together 2 or more animals. It was seen that when animals pulled together more could be accomplished than if one pulled alone. They could pull heavier loads & cover longer distances hence team became all about a group of 2 or more people pulling together in the same direction with a common goal.

No one can escape being in a team whether that be in a marriage, family, job or business, Church; so let’s look at some principles that will help us become a successful member of a team:

1) Team Agenda This means checking in at the door our own agenda in order to follow the team agenda. Today more than ever we live in an individualistic society where authority is frowned upon and fulfilling our own dream is all that matters and anything that gets in the way of my dream is pushed aside; and as Christians we can be so saturated in this way of thinking that when we join the Church it becomes difficult to fit in because when  asked to forgo our way to fit in with the team way we think people are against us, they are trying to stop us fulfilling our dream and doing what we think is right hence we leave and go to another Church or until we can find somewhere they will let us do our own thing.

God’s way is the opposite. Scripture teaches that if we will lay aside our dream in order to serve the team, over time God will manoeuvre us into the place He wants us to be and provide a platform for the fulfilling of our dream. Joseph served the team of Potiphar, the jail keeper and Pharaoh hence when the time was right God promoted Joseph to the position that suited his gifts and abilities and Joseph affected the whole world.

Will you lay aside your pride and humble yourself before God that He may use you in His way. Today God is looking for people to reach the nations with the Gospel of the Kingdom, people who are teachable, willing to learn His ways, open to the new thing He is doing.    YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Meditation Point: God’s way is always character first gifts second. Character harnesses gifts. Character is the doorway into the gifts.

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