Strengthening Your Team

Written by Gail Rodgers

Keeping a team going in the same direction is not always an easy task. Yet we are not independent of team in many areas of our lives.

Wherever you are a part of something bigger than yourself in some area of your life you are part of a team.

Teams are exciting to join!!  We come together with a common purpose and we each bring our own set of strengths to the table. Most of us are a part of a team somewhere; in business or at work, in a marriage or family unit, on a church or ministry team, as a volunteer team or on a political or sports team.

Yet in the day-to-day run of relationships team vision can become illusive.

Personalities can begin to grate like sandpaper. Petty arguments can surface too easily. The goal can be completely missed if a team sabotages itself with it’s own irritations.

When we come to the team table seldom do we talk about the fact that each of us will also sit at that team table with our weaknesses thoroughly intact. And little things begin to wear down our relationships.

Often our greatest weakness is simply our greatest strength out of balance.

God actually gives us wisdom in working together as a team. Paul’s letter in the book of Galatians and addressed to Christians acknowledges that we will encounter difficulty in ourselves and in others.  On a team someone may be too controlling, or procrastinate too often. Paul says our general attitude should be one of restoring, or, as the original language implies, one of mending nets.  It’s a joint effort of finding the holes and mending them.

Paul talked as though this restoring process was something to expect, something we need not be surprised at, something to perhaps even plan for.

Imagine sitting down with a new team and feeling the excitement of the task ahead. Imagine the wedding … or the vision casting exercises as the future is looked at expectantly. Then imagine your surprise when the team leader begins to talk about the fact that each team member will have weakness too. That you will irritate one another and that there may be holes in your skill sets or in the team. You begin to feel uncomfortable; afraid you might not measure up in some way.  But then the leader continues and says, “We will have a restoring, or mending mindset on this team.  We will be proactive in taking steps to maintain our team. And here’s how we will do it.”

  • Step 1: Prayer
    We will pray for each other.  When you see a weak area, or an area that irritates you in your teammate, talk first to God and not to the next teammate. When I see a weakness in you, and you see one in me, our first job will be to carry it in prayer. Weaknesses are the very entry point for God’s strength! This attitude of restoring and mending is fulfillment of God’s ways.

“Carry each other’s burdens (or weaknesses), and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2)

“Jesus said, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

  • Step 2: Accountability
    Be accountable for what is going on inside you.  Keep a check on your spirit.  As you pray for another’s weakness be careful not to begin seeing yourself as superior. Don’t play the comparison game. God tells us to test our own actions to be sure we are remaining teachable ourselves. Guard your heart.

“If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  Each one should test his own actions.  Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.” (Gal 6:3 & 4a)

  • Step 3: Responsibility
    Take responsibility for your own weaknesses.  Never excuse your own weaknesses or “holes in the net” by saying, “that’s just the way I am, I can’t help it”! Don’t blame others. Be honest with yourself and invite God into your weak areas. Do what you need to do to take the responsibility that is yours.

“…each one should carry his own load.” (Gal. 6:4b)

  • Step 4: Building up
    Encourage each other with Scripture.  Build each other up in God’s ways. Sharing what we learn from God will help us keep our focus on God’s way of doing things as a team.  Praying together is also one of the best ways to knit hearts in unity.  If an issue remains that needs to be talked out, go in kindness to your teammate and with the attitude of building up.  Be open if someone comes to you about your weakness.

“Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.” (Gal. 6:6)

  • Step 5: Choosing
    It isn’t always comfortable to deal with another’s weaknesses God’s way…our own emotions often get in the way. Neither is it always comfortable to look our own weaknesses square on and invite God to change us and be our strength. Yet God invites us to make each relational decision in accordance with His Spirit and promises a harvest in the proper time. These choices, made in the face of the sandpaper edge of irritation, will bring a result. Choose what kind of harvest you want on your team.

“…The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:7, 8 & 9)

  • Step 6: Blessing
    Bless one another as often as you have opportunity.  Affirm each other, do good to each other, speak well of one another.  Look for opportunities to touch each other’s lives in a positive way.

“As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers”. (Gal. 6:10)

Be deliberate in growing together as a team whether it’s in marriage or marketing.

True strength acknowledges weaknesses and seeks to build and restore. It is all too often the little things that become the source of eventual dispute or even demise. As God’s strength in weakness is applied in these ways He becomes your teams source. He is the only one who can truly “mend the holes in any net”! This is true strength.

Do you need God’s power today to help you work through the irritations of your teammates? It may be your spouse, your boss, your co-worker or even a friend or family member who you feel the grating edge of sandpaper with.

God gives believers His Holy Spirit as the Helper and the Revealer of Truth.

Invite the Holy Spirit to empower you today with His strength and His wisdom so you can be a mender of the net in your relationships.

Heavenly Father,

I confess that I have been working in my relationship with my own best thinking. It simply isn’t enough to cover over the irritations and the sand paper edges that I can feel grating between us. Please forgive me. Please fill me afresh with the power of Your Spirit. Flood to me and through me and help me be a mender and a restorer in the places you have placed me. I ask this in the strong name of Jesus, amen.

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