Hello from Ghana, Africa! This week, I have the great privilege of getting to do international travel, and I’m in Ghana, which is in Equatorial Africa, kind of near Nigeria. This is a Saving Moses trip, and we’re exploring what opportunities might be available for us to do some work here. While I love getting to explore a new culture, I’m keenly aware that teamwork is an essential ingredient to accomplishing anything significant beyond my talents and abilities.
I make this observation because the complexity of this kind of trip and team players who make this happen. With the following examples, I’m changing their names to protect the innocent.
For starters, we have Julie in the Saving Moses office, who did lots of legwork to get all the visas ready, COVID testing help, malaria prevention efforts and lots more. We also have Amy, who is on this trip, and she has coordinated lots of the communication for what we want to accomplish, organized schedules and logistics, along with looking after the finances and media goals. Additionally, Michelle is here looking after all of the filming that we’re doing, interviews, photography, etc. Of course, we have local people helping us as well, and without them, we would be dead in the water with no traction.
Everyone plays important roles, and no one person is more important than anyone else. I bring this to your attention because I think this is God’s intended design for the body of Christ. While we might give a quick dutiful agreement to this principle, sometimes it’s hard for us to be on a team or in a group with people who see the world in vastly different ways than our perspective. It can also be very difficult to be a constructive team when others have different ways of doing stuff. I’ve had innumerable conversations and conflicts when I thought my way was better than someone else’s ideas or methods. As I grow, I am coming to appreciate that people who are vastly different than me often have drastic upgrades to my thoughts or plans and particularly when I listen with an open heart.
I think these principles are demonstrated really well with the people who were Jesus’ closest followers. Let’s recall that Jesus selected as His disciples fishermen, a tax collector, a political zealot, and other professions that aren’t identified. Additionally, Paul the Apostle was a tentmaker for his income and a highly educated theologian in comparison to Peter, James, and John, who were fishermen. It’s not difficult for me to see that these men had very diverse perspectives and methods for doing their work and for following Jesus. Let’s also not forget that Mary Magdalene was an ardent follower of Jesus (the first to see Him after His resurrection), and she had been very crazy before Jesus cast out demons from her life, to say nothing about her perspective as a female follower of Jesus.
With all of these examples, it becomes clear that Jesus embraces us as fearfully and wonderfully made. If that’s Jesus’ mindset toward us, perhaps we would be wise to see others through a similar lens rather than demanding uniformity in methods and mindsets. To be the body of Christ, let’s value each other and our differences rather than ostracize and exclude others because of contrasting outlooks. Teamwork can be a great adventure!