Last Sunday I attended 2 services in 2 different churches, I either am an addict of churches or am a church hopper. I am still chewing on that, I would like to believe I am neither of the 2 but hey, attending 2 services in a day is not normal, right? Interestingly, both these services left me with a similar message, a build up to last week’s blogpost (you can read last week’s post here).
At the start of this year, one of the things I asked God for was a team to work with in Lapid Leaders. Yester as I attended one of my 2 services, this desire was firmly cemented. This sermon was about some of the things we need to be doing to position ourselves for the success God has in store for us this year (This sermon has been posted here).
The sermon was based on the life and times of Moses. Moses is in his success days. He is leading the people of Israel to God’s desire for their lives. He is doing a good job. However, he is making one mistake, he is doing everything by himself.
Jethro his father-in-law sees through the problem with this approach. He tells him, “When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?..What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.”
Wisdom no 1
This statement by Jethro is for me at the core of the wisdom of this year. I have always believed in the power of teams. I have always believed that great things are built on the shoulders of strong teams. God is not in the business of one-man shows, He is not the business of creating larger than life movie stars. He works with teams of people. Christ is perhaps the best example of this principle. He is God, He can therefore bring Christianity to pass by Himself. Yet He chooses to work with a team of disciples. He invests in these disciples, the result is the spread of the gospel to millions, the result is a faith that is decades old.
However, working with teams may sound like an easy thing to do but is one of the MOST difficult things. Truth be told, working with people is never easy. We are generally difficult to work with. It is the reason many of us fall into the pitfall of being stars in the movie of life, it is easier. I do not doubt that even for Moses, it would have been easier for him to continue being the person who does it all.
I have worked in teams and with people many times. It has been almost effortless. However, one of the wounds I carried from last year was actually people related. I had such great expectations of the people around me. When some of these expectations were not met, I got hurt, you can read this blog here for more details on the same. So my natural innate reaction is to work alone. It is to shield myself from such kind of hurt. It is to work on my projects alone, at my pace.
Yet I have felt God ask me to build a team, and every time I have that conversation with God, panic comes knocking. Are you sure Lord? How many other such blogs will I then have to write on disappointments? How many blogs will they write about me? Can we not just find a way of making this work between the two of us?
God must shake His head every time I have this conversation with Him yet He still responds. He says He is in the business of conforming my character to Christ. So I can run away from this now, but it is something I need to deal with, so you can be sure doubt it will catch up.
He then says it is the right thing to do. Attempting to take this journey alone it is attempting to make myself a star in this movie. Truth is I will burnout.
So this is the first big time prayer I am making this year, give me a team Lord. Give me strategic partners. Give me mentors like Jethro that will speak into Lapid Leaders. Give me people to carry this vision with Lord. Give me a great support system Lord, including the students and suppliers you want us to work with. Hand pick each of these people for me Lord.
Please join me in making this prayer.
As you pray with me for a team, pray that the panic feeling I have when I imagine I need to build a team to go away. Pray that God teaches me how to do this. I thought the year of stepping into unknown territory ended last year, turns out it was just the beginning.
You too can begin this journey….
When I posted this post last year, many people called me and shared their experiences, of expectations they had of the people they relate with that were not met. We get hurt, we go into a cocoon, and we survive.
However, moving on is not enough, we must heal and go back to God for guidance on how to work in teams, especially when it is hardest.
Christ somehow worked with teams, despite knowing how this very teams would disappoint him. Disappointment of guys like Peter who would disown him, disappointment of guys like Judas who would back stab him, lay ahead of Him. Yet, despite knowing all this, He still chose to work with teams. The good thing is then understands me when I press a panic button, because He has been there.
I think the best illustration of this I find is when Christ is at the garden of gethsemane. He asks his disciples to stay up with him. It is a moment of weakness for him. He needs all the support He can get. Yet the disciples sleep, the people He has invested in and walked with this far slept.
We still do the same thing today, sleep falls on us and we fall into it. May God give us the grace like Christ, to keep going back to awaken our sleeping peers. May God help us stay up with those that need us to do so. May God help us get away from our innate selfish, self-protecting ways and follow the way of the cross.
So as 2015 starts, my prayer for everyone who reads this blog is that God surrounds you with people who will help you carry the loads that will take you to where He has called you. May you be faithful friends who will help others carry the loads they have. Our greatest asset as the body of Christ as still in people.
My prayer for myself is something I did not do too well in 2014. I got absorbed in my project I had no energy to stay up with anyone else. My prayer for this year is I will be an Aaron and Hur for someone. I realize that this year is a year of relational support, o that God would teach us how to.