A personal ministry or project seldom means working alone. Some goals are difficult to reach with only one set of gifts. Others need to be addressed simultaneously from more than one direction. In those situations you will build a team. While a strong work team allows you to share the burden, it can also make things difficult as you struggle to soothe egos and avoid chaos.
The ability to collaborate with others in a team situation is a highly desired skill in almost every setting.
John Wooden is recognized as perhaps the greatest college basketball coach of all times. His UCLA Bruins squads won 10 NCAA championships in a 12 year period (1963 – 1975). At one point they recorded 88 consecutive victories. He was named coach of the year six times. There may be no greater expert on the importance of teamwork. Strong skills are an asset; however Wooden preferred those who bought into the team concept. “A player who makes a team great is much more valuable than a great player.” This is true with your project or ministry team as well. You may be the best at what you do. You will find the most success, however, through helping your entire unit perform at their highest levels.
Wooden also challenged each of his players to be the finest individuals they could be. “The best way to improve the team is to improve us.” He did not limit this advice to performance on the court. He insisted each of his players succeed in every pursuit, all the while remaining true to themselves and focusing on what was most important. This included their studies, personal relationships, and spiritual development. He said, “Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” As we work with our project or ministry team the most benefit is found through our humble devotion to continuing our growth in every area of our lives.
Solomon gives us a similar lesson when he reminds us that it takes iron to sharpen iron just as we are to keep each other perfectly honed. Paul echoed this theme as well, asking that we spur our partners on to tackle greater works of love. From the beginning of time we were not meant to be alone and have been challenged to work cooperatively. Incorporating these concepts into your personal ministry will help you continue to achieve.
We can often accomplish more when working with others. This is best done by helping those around us to achieve at their highest levels. We can also support our team by humbly remaining true to our core principles while continuing to grow in all areas of our lives. A personal ministry or project that collectively practices these traits will find success through continued collaboration.