I work with an amazing bunch of people. The Metamorphic team are some of the most dedicated, talented and gifted people I have had the pleasure to work with. We all have a single purpose and commitment to see nations changed, one person and one community at a time. The truth, however, is that we are all very different people; we all have very different backgrounds and characters, we all like different foods and hobbies, and we all have different skills and abilities.
One of the guys in our team, for example, has a fantastic creative ability and his photography is amazing (check out: www.timhumble.com). I watched recently as he took some photos at an orphanage in Kenya, and the shots he produced were simply stunning. I, on the other hand, have the creative abilities of a rock and when I take photos I think it is great if it is not out of focus and is of the actual subject that I was trying to capture!
One of the other guys on our team has an amazing ability to capture and remember detail, and produce great documents and reports. He is also skilled in carpentry and other practical work. I, on the other hand, wouldn’t know what end of a hammer to use and nearly killed myself mixing concrete when I was leading a missions team in Thailand (the team ended up politely giving me “other” duties to do). I do, however, love computers and seem to have an ability to understand most technical related things, while most of the others in our team think computers are frustrating and illogical. We are very different!
Individually, I have no doubt any one of the men and women in the Metamorphic team could achieve great things. But here is the truth: together we can achieve so much more! As a team, we celebrate and utilise each other’s differences. We recognise that our differences don’t make us weaker, they make us stronger. We understand that unity is not conformity. We don’t all have to look the same (a fact the rest of the team is very grateful for I am sure!). We don’t have to speak the same, we don’t even have to think the same on everything, as long as we are committed to the one purpose and the one vision. See, I understand that there are skills that I lack, but the good thing is that I have people around me who have those skills in large quantities.
Some years ago, I pastored a church in NZ. I enjoyed being a pastor and loved the people we had in our church. But I have a confession to make: when it came to counseling and listening to people’s problems, I was really not that good at it. The great thing was, however, that I had people on my team who loved to counsel; they had a gifting in that area and did a fantastic job of it. I could have said, “No, I’m the Pastor, I must counsel all of the people.” But if I had done that, several things would have happened: first, I would have hated every second of it; second, the people I was counseling would have missed out on the help they needed; and thirdly, the team members in my church who were gifted in this area would never have been released and would have ended up feeling frustrated because of it.
I have seen and been a part of many teams where it was a team in name only. The reality was, the head leader or pastor did everything and the team was just there to fill up space. This is a bad way to run any team, and certainly no way to build people. In teams that don’t function well, ultimately everyone ends up missing out.
Team and team work is always the best way to go and, with the right people, you will discover that it leads to greater productivity and may even make your job easier. Jack Johnson was right: it is better together!