Here's an excerpt of my most recent article there, "The 'I' in 'Community,'" in which I muse about the role of the individual in team settings:
On the one hand, there's the danger of elevating the group to the exclusion of the individual. This error tells individuals they are unimportant and interchangeable, replaceable and disposable, like cogs in a machine. On the other hand, teams can be derailed by strong individual personalities asserting their own self-importance. Star performers sometimes use a team merely as a vehicle for their own success.Go here to read the rest. Also, the following bloggers are also participating in this blog tour this week. Enjoy!
The answer is to balance both individual and corporate identities. We see examples of this in the ministry of Paul. He did not go on missionary journeys alone if he could avoid it. Paul's standard operating procedure was to work in partnership, with Barnabas or Silas, or in a larger community, with people like Luke, Priscilla, Aquila, Timothy, Sopater, and Gaius. These colleagues were Paul's coworkers in their daily efforts and often his collaborators and cowriters in his letters. Paul mentored them in community, and then sent them on individual assignments, going places Paul could not go himself. For example, Timothy served as Paul's emissary to Thessalonica (1 Thess. 3:2), Phoebe delivered the epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16:1), and Titus was asked to troubleshoot in Crete (Titus 1:5). The strength of Paul's working community meant that his team members were well-qualified and equipped to take on their individual challenges.
The ultimate model for us is the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is simultaneously community and individuality. The Father sent the Son to do very specific individual tasks, and likewise the Spirit empowers us in ways that the Father and the Son do not. God is Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. God works as both community and individuals. Since we are created in God's image, we also work as individuals and in community. . . .
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