Archives For team building

Misunderstood Unity

February 23, 2014

I work in an organization which sends many short-term teams as well as develops working groups around projects.

I hear a repeated statement coming out of their meeting times.

“Give us unity….”

I prayed this with my teams for many, many years….until I realized what it meant.

Now, when I hear teams pray this, I cringe.

You have no idea what you are asking for.

Misunderstood unity believes the following:

“If we are unified, we will never fight.”
“Unity means we will agree and have similar views on the decision we face.”
“Unity is standing in a circle holding hands singing “Bind us Together.”

Wrong.

That view of commonality is not unity, it is cultic.

Group think is dangerous.

In Scripture, the most common analogy given for unity is the body, with many members working together. The members and their talents they bring are not the same, but the goal is.

The movie Saving Private Ryan is set during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. The story follows a group of soldiers searching for a companion who is missing in action. The journey leads the group to discover the soldier is defending a strategic bridge. The mission of the enemy is to blow up the bridge.

Destruction of bridges is a strategy in warfare.
It cripples transportation and communication.
It isolates and dis-unifies.

None of us actively engage in strategic bridge destruction.

But in our teams and ministries, we need to ask a key question.

Are we bridge builders or bridge bombers?

The body of Christ is skilled in dividing ourselves.

Theologically
Culturally
Politically

We blow up bridges over the gray areas of life Scripture does not specifically speak to.
We create islands of isolation with those who think differently.
We seek unity through political party membership more than Christ’s commands.

You’ve cast the visioninstilled the values, spent hours of  time guiding and training your team. You are ready to soar!

Then……

  • A key player falls sick and enters the hospital.
  • The exciting events of marriages and pregnancies are causes for celebration yet create waves of change in a family or organization.
  • In missions it could be the denial of a visa or the lack of finances.

CHANGE.

Change creates instability and insecurity.

Yet it is inevitable.

family-circus-path

Life changes, people and personnel move on; situations happen.

The need to build a team culture and move people towards a goal never ends, it just changes.

Even within the framework of a family, there are seasons. You might have a rallying cry for a short time only to realize the needs of your family are changing. Adjustment then needs to occur.

Here is the interesting part.

Today on NoSuperHeroes, we begin a series on building a team called “United We Move”.  The tools we explore will help leaders in a variety of settings to rally people toward a common goal.

These principles can impact people in the following variety of  settings:
Churches
Leadership Boards
Families
Small Groups
Missions Organizations
Newly Married Couples
Youth Group Fundraisers
Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO)
Church Planters
and more

Let me begin with a story of the journey I am currently apart of.

We moved to South Africa in 2006 and inherited a program which had seen success in the past. Over the last few years, numbers were and influence was waning. The team was in a leadership transition when the director stepped out for health reasons. I stepped into leadership with a team comprising one full-time workers coupled with a part-timer. The atmosphere was one of survival, and it reflected in their prayers.