While working with a group of young people during a teamwork workshop, I had an opportunity to sit and observe behaviors and attitudes as they prepared for the day’s activity. Some were frustrated and angry while others were withdrawn and restless. Clearly I could see many of them were irritated. This irritation was projected towards one another often as insults by way of comedy.
After about five minutes I stood before the young people. I could sense the disappointment, for they knew the question I would ask, and so I did. I asked them what happened with their group project from the previous week. All of them began screaming and shouting, pointing fingers at everyone but themselves. They even blamed the Executive Director of the program for the projects outcome. I stopped them and stated, “So everyone is at fault for the projects flaws and failure”.
Again the young people proceeded to cast blame but no one took responsibility for their actions. Insults again went forth throughout the room. Finally, with my right arm raised, I interrupted the screaming and said, “Exactly! So you all agree the project was not successful due to a lack of team work, an absence of sportsmanship, lack of commitment, lack of trust and selfishness”. I proceeded by reminding them they are all a part of one team, thereby making each of them equally responsible for the unsuccessful completion of the project.
Most of the young disagreed with my statement. After further discussion a light bulb went off and one young person came forward saying, “I apologize for the groups’ behavior. May we have another chance? I promise we will do better at working together as one team although we are in two separate groups because our purpose is the same”.
This behavior is not new or unfamiliar to me. In fact, there are many adults who behave in the same manner. Whether it’s an inability to work together on the job, at school, volunteering for a project, as a family, in the community, on the basketball or football team or we lack the capacity to be a team on the choir, at the salon, amongst political party affiliation or in the church. We quite often have an attitude of separateness. We fight about who is right and who is wrong. We argue about where the money should go. We speak ill-mannered words towards one another. We grow bitter, casting blame on everyone accept ourselves. Eventually our projects fail and many walk away disappointed, hurt, bruised, unable to trust or forgive.
As I studied Ephesians chapter four I realized teamwork really does matters, for we are all one body connected together. Whatever impacts you most assuredly affects me…sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. I employ you to consider this; you are by no means a world by yourself. Consider those who make up this world with you. Know whatever decisions you make, they are not for you alone but your family, your co-workers and essentially whatever team you’re apart of will be impacted by both your stubbornness and your openness. You can build up and tear down your teammates with your words. We all have specific duties and responsibilities. We are accountable to one another. Ultimately, nothing gets accomplished without teamwork because TEAMWORK MATTERS.
“…Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another IN LOVE, endeavoring to keep the UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE…till we all come to the unity of faith and of the knowledge…from whom the body, joined and knit together by what EVERY joint supplies, according to the effective working by which EVERY PART DOES ITS SHARE, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love…you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened…because of ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart…
…Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin…let NO CORRUPT WORD PROCEED OUT OF YOUR MOUTH, but what is GOOD and NECESSARY edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers…Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. AND BE KIND to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you”
Father, thank you for a new day filled with endless mercies. Help us to understand that we are to be merciful towards one another. Help us to treat one another as we treat ourselves and if by chance we do not have knowledge or understanding of how we ought treat ourselves, Lord I ask that you speak to us bringing forth the reminder that we should do all things in love. We add to one another with kindness and gentleness. Thank you Lord for providing examples in everyday living as to the compassion we should have. Lord touch those in Congress who have decided not to be team players. Encourage mother's and father's to work in unity thereby setting a loving example for children. Touch brothers and sisters, tearing down dysfunction. Help us to have our love for others. Forgive us of wrong words that we have spoken that caused damage to others spirit. Restore us as one union in you, In Jesus Name I pray with faith, Amen.