[stextbox id=”black”]This is a guestpost contributed by my dear friend Sunil Ap, from ICPF Pune. Sunil and Sreeja have been great friends and a tremendous source of motivation and inspiration to me over the past 5 years. Same is the case with numerous others university students, who has been mentored by them in the city of Pune. I pray that this post will help you understand the importance of working in teams and also boost the faith inside of you to trust God to make a hole through all the walls obstructing your progress today![/stextbox]

In this year’s FIFA world cup, a record 700 million people tuned in to watch the final match between Netherlands and Spain. Andres Iniesta, the Spanish mid-fielder scored the winning and the solitary goal for his country. He took off his blue Spain jersey to reveal a white T-shirt bearing the words “Dani Jarque: siempre con nosotros”. “Dani Jarque: Always with us”

Dani(el) died at the age of 26 due to cardiac arrest on 8th August 2009 (last day of Friendship Week). But there friendship did not die there as Andres and Dani were teammates in Spain’s under-17, under 19, under 20 and under 21 teams. They were stuck together as a TEAM. There is a team behind everything and everyone-visible and invisible team.

‘Humans beings are not island but a continent’ i.e. we cannot exist on our own; we need others in our day-to-day life. There are no sports which does not have any team. Do you think chess, F1 racing and golf are individual sports? Think again! There is a TEAM behind any endeavor. Columbus discovered America-there was a team behind him, Thomas Elva Edison invented bulb-a team of 21 professors were doing calculations for him. Wright brothers were not wrong when they worked together; they made the adage more meaningful ‘sky is the limit’ when they had a team. Teamwork simply means the combined effective action of a group to achieve a common goal. T.E.A.M stands for: Together Everyone Achieves More. It becomes a force when we work synergistically.

Bible is full of team and teamwork- Adam and Eve, Moses and his leaders, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, Paul and Silas, Gideon and his 300, Jesus’ 12 disciples and many more. One dynamic team I know is in Nehemiah chapter 3. For a clear picture we must read chapter 1 and 2 painstakingly. I know it’s tiring to read chapters when we have capsule verses to fit our need. We don’t want to bother our eyeballs and disturb our fingers flipping the pages. But amazingly, we ourselves are an individual team. Our mind and body work in congruence. No wonder, when people are drunk, we say that the person is not in his mind, because his body does not matches his state of mind.

Nehemiah was a man with mindblowing mind and action-packed action. He had a dream -to build the walls of Jerusalem- and a team.

Everest-sized task:

Repairing a 4 meter wide and many kilometers long wall with limited resources and a group of enemies taunting around was not a musical cakewalk, plus the builders were amateurs. God is not looking for professional people but for ‘actional’ people. Titanic was made by professional but the Ark was made by an amateur. No prices for guessing what happened to Titanic and the Ark. Nehemiah had no degrees in civil engineering, but had degree in devil engineering. He knew what the enemy will do in stopping his dream come true. Wait a minute! Before you read further, ask yourself; do I have a dream? ‘Dream is not something you see while you are sleeping, but dream will not allow you to sleep’, said former Prez Dr. Abdul Kalam. I have a dream to see India as a Christian nation. Surely, the task is Everest-sized, but the God who made Everest is with us. If you have the grit to dream, God will give the gift to do.

Between 1920 and 1953 there were 7 major failed attempts to conquer the highest peak on earth at 29,035 feet. Tenzing Norgay was on 6 of them. Failures did not deter his dream rather determined his dream. Nehemiah had a BIG task – a wall. Someone said “Where there is a will there is a wall”. What is the wall you are facing today? Wall of rejection? Wall of complexes? Wall of taunt? Wall of guilt? I will advice you to make a hole in it. As Paul was lowered from the wall and foiled the assassination bid on his life. He made a way through the wall. Norgay was not seeing the wall, but seeing the hole. On 29th May, 1953 Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay was the first team to stand on the pinnacle of Everest. The task before us is Everest-sized, harvest is Herculean, but laborers little. Will we excuse ourselves and increase the size of the laborers?

Everyone is important:

Chapter three of Nehemiah is not a very wow one; it talks about names, names and more names. But you can see a strong team working for one cause. They all were in unison to build the wall. Teamwork simply means –less of me and more of we. The word ‘repair(ed)’ comes 38 times in this chapter. Everyone knew they had a job and they all were doing it. Mother Teresa once said, “you can’t do what I do, I can’t do what you do; together we can do great things”. Bible says, one will chase 1000 and two 10,000- that’s the synergy of teamwork.

Nehemiah places everyone at the right place for the better, quicker and bigger result. John Maxwell writes about the important of right people at the right places.

‘Wrong person at the wrong place leads to regression,

Wrong person at the right place leads to frustration,

Right person at the wrong place leads to confusion

Right person at the right place leads to progression,

Right people at the right places lead to multiplication.’

When right people are added to the right place, they add value to the team. Nehemiah placed people by the 5th rule. And the wall was built in record 52 days flat. Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”.

The progress of the team stalls when we have the not-my-job attitude. Nehemiah’s team did whatever they saw to be ‘doable’. No work in God’s kingdom is small; all work for Jesus’ sake is King-size in dignity. Once there were four people – Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure that Somebody will do it, Anybody would have done it, but Nobody did it. A team does not work independently, but inter-dependently. A dwarf standing on the shoulders of giant can see farther than the giant himself. We need everyone because ALL are important. God needs you for HIS work. Will you step out and say yes?

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