I have always liked gadgets. Machine age contraptions for example, were often an amazing collection of unique parts working together for a single purpose. In this age of technology, we seldom appreciate the inner workings of the devices that we see and use every day. As a result, we fail to understand them for what they really are. Old machines and your favorite smart phone have something in common. They are all a collection of individual components that interact with precision to perform a useful (sometimes even vital) function.
When was the last time you described a device of yours that way? “Say Bill, have you seen my new collection of individual components that interact with precision to perform a useful function?“ I don‘t think so. It‘s more like “have you seen my new smart phone?“
Old machines and modern gadgets remind me of the greatness of Teamwork.
In many sectors of our society, collaboration is all but dead. Hi-tech tools are making it possible for everyone to be an almost expert at just about anything. I suppose it‘s an interesting trend from a few perspectives. It‘s empowering to be able to do so many things yourself. If you look at it from the management standpoint, well, it‘s the best thing since the introduction of the PC. Business owners now reason, “We don‘t need all those extra people. One person does the job of three, four or five!“
But, let‘s take a good look at that reasoning. I believe that we are all really good at something. Yea, we‘re pretty good at a lot of things, but we each have one or two gifts that really shine.
In the last three decades or so, I have worn a lot of hats. I have been a businessman, an author, a Bible teacher, a Pastor, and a school administrator. I have also been a professional broadcaster, audio editor and mix engineer, producer, program and newscast director, and more. As a commentator, I interviewed paupers, kings and everyone in-between. Once, I broadcast live from on top of Masada and the Temple Mount in Israel.
But it seems that no matter how many “roles“ I‘ve played, I was never truly all alone. There were always other team members there to help me with the job. Even when I stood alone in the spotlight, it was “my team“ that made better collectively what I might have hobbled through on my own.
I have been blessed to work with some of the most creative and talented people in the world. In some cases, I knew that I could do their job too. With few exceptions I also knew I couldn‘t do it as well. If I had a dime for every time someone made a suggestion that resulted in my own personal growth and improved upon my project, I‘d be retired and living in the Caribbean (yes, I‘m a closet “Beach Bum“).
When practiced at its highest level, life is a team sport. Every day our society functions because we are a collection of individuals that interact to perform useful (and sometimes vital) functions for the greater good. When the process is right, when collaboration, mutual respect and enthusiasm are in the mix, the results are so much better (and fulfilling) than they can ever be when one person slogs away all alone.
And what about the Church? Is it a coincidence that the Father, Son & Holy Spirit are unique and yet referred to as one? I think not. The New Testament writer Paul (a follower of Jesus) hit the nail on the head when he compared the Christian community to the human body. Listen to what he said:
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,“ that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,“ would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don‘t need you.“ The head can‘t say to the feet, “I don‘t need you.“ 22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 27 All of you together are Christ‘s body, and each of you is a part of it. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 New Living Translation –
What could I possibly add to that? Except maybe, Hooray for the team!
Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabbid Coastal Junkie®
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656