Monday, July 30, 2012

Spiritual Teamwork

There's a term in Christianity called "lone ranger Christianity". We’ve all met those individuals who are on their own spiritual journey, apart from the rest of Christianity.  They may have disdain for the local church, describing it as having any number of faults.  The complaints all boil down to describing the local assembly as self oriented and lacking spiritual discernment.  Sometimes that can be true and there are cases where someone has been hurt by misused doctrine or misunderstood doctrine.  But there’s usually a different set of reasons why many of the Christian “lone rangers” go in that direction.  

Being a "lone ranger":

  1. eliminates doctrinal accountability, 
  2. allows them to see themselves as being on a higher spiritual plane than others, 
  3. allows seeking one's own goals without regard for the consequences to others, and 
  4. hides any spiritual lack of self worth.  
What the spiritual “lone ranger” misses out on is spiritual teamwork.  Something I believe God gave us examples to follow, starting with the Trinity itself.  Let’s take a look.

We’ve all heard about unity.  Teamwork is different.
  1. Where unity speaks of likeness of thought, teamwork allows for variations but still working toward a single goal.  
  2. Where unity sets a goal, teamwork "puts legs" on attaining that goal.  
  3. Where unity is mental and spiritual, teamwork is the result from that unity.  
Part of what makes the plan of God so successful is that teamwork. The members of the Trinity are unified in agreement with all aspects of the plan.  But teamwork comes into play because each person has specific work and none encroach on what the others are doing. Nor do the team members conflict with what other team members are doing.  Indeed, each could be considered "support staff" for the other two.

Interesting contrast, isn't it?  It very much comes down to being self oriented versus focusing on the needs of others.  Our own desires versus the needs of the team.  "My way or the highway." versus "...because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1John 3:16).

Are we team players or do we ride off into the sunset, alone?

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