Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Teamwork: Can we resolve the issues and do we just vote you off the island?

My wife and I enjoy watching "Survivor". We wait eagerly for the next episode so we can see who will survive and who will be voted off the island. One of the key skills needed to survive in Survivor is the ability to work with others. The team challenges are designed to bring out the best and worst in people, emotions and character rise to the surface in the middle of these difficult challenges. Teamwork involves conflict. There is no teamwork without conflict. When I look up "teamwork" on google images I see pictures like this:

"Yeah right!" Everyone is smiling and happy, right? WRONG! If you're the one on the bottom, you won't be smiling.. Every team I have ever been a part of has had conflict. If your team has never had conflict then you probably don't have a winning team.

In his letter to the Christians at Philippi Paul mentions two women who are fighting with each other. They are probably in the "cold war" stage where they avoid each other and just gossip about the other. Maybe they have just dropped out, because they don't know what to do. They need help to resolve the issue. Have you ever been in a situation like this? I have. I've gotten myself so stuck in sin or interpersonal conflict that I can't possibly get out of it by myself. I need help. Paul realises that these 2 dear sisters are in this situation so he asks someone to help them. Here is what he says:

"So then, my brothers and sisters, dear friends whom I long to see, my joy and crown, stand in the Lord in this way, my dear friends! I appeal to Euodia and to Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I say also to you, true companion, help them. They have struggled together in the gospel ministry along with me and Clement and my other coworkers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:1-9
For the next post or two, I'm going to explore Philippians 4:1-9 looking at it through the lens of working together. What can this passage teach me about teamwork? How can I help others who are in conflict with each other? Should I just be like Switzerland and stay neutral, let them nuke each other? If they are part of my team, do I let the team dissolve into conflict, members dropping out one by one til I have a team of 3 people only "ME, MYSELF and I"? What can I do to keep my team strong? If a member has fallen out of the team, what should I do to win them back?  Stay tuned.