We do our best work when we work together.
In his letter to the Christians in 1st century Rome, the apostle Paul puts it this way:
A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another. (Romans 12:4-5)
I’ve heard this idea expressed in many different ways over the last few weeks.
And I experience it in action every day as I work alongside our ministry team. This has certainly been the case as we’ve prepared for Easter, and especially amidst the uncertainty of recent days.
Each of us has a particular personality and working style that differs from the others. We draw on one another’s strengths, and we celebrate one another’s achievements. We laugh together, we sigh together and we cry together when we need to. All this helps create the magic of doing our best work together as a team.
Doing our best work together is also fostered by honouring who each person is in their life beyond the work of the office and church community. Allowing each team member the freedom to be themselves enables each person to do their best work – together.
Our interns – the young people gaining work experience in various areas of ministry in our church – are contributing enormously to our ministry at Anglican Church Robina, especially in the areas of music, tech and online ministry, and ministry with children and young people. They are gifted and passionate people, doing their best work by working together. And I’m pretty sure they are discovering that by offering themselves to serve in our community, they are having lots of fun, finding deeper meaning in living from their true selves and growing in faith.
Beyond our ministry team, I see people working together to achieve extraordinary outcomes in the many facets of our life as a faith community wanting to be known by our relationships.
Playgroup on Fridays is bursting at the seams with children happily engaged in age-appropriate play and parents making connections with one another. This is all brilliantly facilitated by Anne, Bowen and their team of helpers.
The op shops are another place where the magic of teamwork produces extraordinary returns in both community-building as well as revenue. To serve as a volunteer in the op shop means working alongside people you may not know or who have had very different life experience from your own. By focussing on the common goal of serving customers and preparing the huge volume of used items that are donated to the stores, our op shop volunteers find a deep sense of fulfilment from serving in this aspect of our church’s ministry to the wider community.
The list goes on. We have many groups meeting for different reasons – Bible study, caring for the property and building, craft etc – where teamwork enables so much more than we can each achieve individually. People who faithfully pray for the needs of our community are also contributing to the body of Christ in important ways.
Teamwork is necessary as we continue to navigate the regulations and consequences of life in COVID times. People will have different perspectives, ask different questions and find different answers to many of the issues COVID life is raising for us. As we listen respectfully and speak respectfully with one another, we can learn from each other’s perspectives. In this way, we not only strengthen the body of Christ, we are better placed to offer hope for people in the wider community who are struggling with ongoing uncertainty and pandemic-fatigue.
That said, as a church community, we do need to work together in accordance with the prevailing government guidelines so that we can continue to be church together.
The good news of Easter is that having overcome death, Jesus liberates every aspect of our lives, even in the midst of weighty challenges. We can have courage to offer who we are to strengthen the body of Christ – the church. – and participate in God;s work in the world. Each of us has a valued role to play, doing our best work when working together as a team.
How do we do this? Paul goes on to say in Romans 12, “Be sincere in your love for others.” (Rom 12:9).
The Australian poet, theologian and philosopher Michael Leunig says it this way:
With every blessing as we make the final journey from Maundy Thursday to the liberating good news of Easter Day as the body of Christ,