“3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”
“We do not all do the same thing, but we must all do something.”
“Just because it may be different doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
– Pastor Tony Howeth
Anyone that works in a ministry, that is fortunate enough to have a team of co-laborers, is bound to have times of disagreement. How then, as leaders, should we respond to and continue building a more effective relationship with those that we may disagree with or that may disagree with us on an idea, an issue, or even a philosophy?
Pastor Austin Gardner has stated many times that “A leader that is not strong enough to hurt you, is not strong enough to help you.” It is most important to surround yourself with men that will be able to “teach others also,” that will be able to get things accomplished, and that are able to lead in your stead. The kind of team that this builds can accomplish great things for the Lord, but it can also bring great controversy and discord if not handled properly.
In the passage above, I want to point out some key lessons that I would like to see implemented in my life when working with others:
1) Grace was given to me, but it is given to others also! (vs 3)
We are all saved by the grace of God. It has nothing to do with us, it is all HIM! We are also allowed to live and serve Him in any form by His grace. If we keep in mind what He has done for us, and realize that He has also bestowed grace upon others, it will help put into perspective the grace we should have one to another.
2) We are on the same team! (vs 4, 5)
We don’t all do the same work. We do not all do it the same way. We do not all think the same. Honestly, if we did, it might be a bit boring when trying to come up with new ideas of ministering to people! In order to have an effective team, I believe it is important to share the same biblical ministry philosophy. But allowing for differences in opinions, and creativity helps to show various view points that may help us to work even more effectively at accomplishing our goals.
3) We have different gifts, strengths, abilities, and weaknesses! (vs 6-8)
Some of us can preach, some can relate to and encourage others, others can plan and mobilize, and some are even good strong laborers; it doesn’t make one more important than the other! Someone that can create and plan an event or course of action would be hurting without someone to put it in motion. I think it is important for us to learn and experience every aspect of ministry, however, continue to utilize the gifts that God has given you, and do not condemn those that can’t do what you can as well as you can. Rather, encourage others to hone their own skills and gifts while developing new ones.
4) Love and prefer one another! (vs 9, 10)
Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” We are not always going to agree 100% of the time. Some of us will not like certain ideas. Some may not like the way that you do some things. But this is not about us! It’s about Him! It’s about others! It’s about reaching the lost with the gospel of Christ! Instead of being defensive, or even divisive; prefer one another! The overall task at hand is not worth the discord that can tear a team apart. The truth is, that when two folks disagreeing yield to each other, work things out with love toward each other, and prefer one another, the objective becomes more clear and the relationship grows stronger.
There are so many things that I have the privilege of learning from my team mates, that it helps me on a personal level to grow in my own gifts and skills. If I allow my pride and arrogance to cause dissension among others striving for the same goal, then instead of working to fulfill and accomplish it, I can cause it to buckle and fall short. May I learn to prefer others, learn from others, encourage others, and strive to work along side others to see this world reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ!