I want to ask a question today and state my answer. I am looking for input from my readers.

What does God want from us Christians? In the sense of effort. Does He want us to become Team Players to support the work of the Church Organizations that we are apart of or is He looking at us at individuals to see what we can do to not only support the work we are involved in personally but also to grow our abilities as individuals?

Back in the days of the World Wide Church of God that I came through, being a team player seemed very much the ideal. All the work of the “church” was left up to those in a higher ranking position. We were told that our efforts should be in praying for the leaders and paying our tithes to help support the great work that they were accomplishing by going through the doors that Christ was opening to the world.

And I have to say that I for one was happy to do that very thing. But since the break up of that church group I have begun to wonder if maybe that team player concept was hindering our personal growth?

As I have studied the Bible and talked with so many of our brethren something doesn’t click with me anymore. What does God want from us as followers of Christ?

God’s overall purpose is that He is developing a family of individuals. Sons and daughters, that are destined to be part of the FirstBorn in the Spiritual Kingdom of God.

Over and over in the word I see efforts to encourage us to grow as individuals to be the best we can be. Some growing and producing 30 – 60 – 100 times more than they started with.

(Mat 13:23)  But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Certainly, we are to support the work of whatever grouping of God’s people we have been drawn to. But can we do that better as a team player or as a Godly Individual who is growing in strength and abilities?

I read a quote about an article by Bill Taylor about the comparison of the individual versus the team player:

“Anytime a CEO, quarterback, engineer or author is paid ridiculous amounts of money, dozens of investors, armchair quarterbacks, and scholars jump in to debate the value of individual contributors versus teams.

Bill Taylor wrote the most recent of many interesting pieces, where he argued provocatively that “great people are overrated,” in response to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comment that a great engineer is worth 100 average engineers.

I have heard plenty of people argue that no one individual is worth the price of many. But interestingly, I have never heard it from a leader.

As a CEO, I have run public companies, private companies, startups, turnarounds, and divestitures — in each and every case, I have never seen a situation where quantity is better than quality when it comes to people. Never. Great people are both hard to find and worth an infinite number of average people.”

I maintain, brethren, that God is developing each and every one of us into “Great People”. We are, after all, the sons and daughters of God. If we work as a group of talented individuals toward achieving whatever Goal our groups set up we can help achieve that goal more as a motivated individual that we can as a team player.

The Bible constantly focuses, us on our personal growth as a Christian:

(Php 2:12)  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

(2Pe 3:18)  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

As we grow in talents and spiritual strength we can help the group effort more and more even if it is only in prayer and financial support. Remember what James tells us about the effectiveness of prayer?

(Jas 5:16)  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

As we grow our prayers become more fervent and effective. As we keep the laws of God our financial position tends to increase as well. But the way we interface with the brethren becomes even more as we are able to inspire and encourage each other to do more. This is how we can increase the efforts of the organized groups to do more as well as those of us in small independent congregations.

God wants us to grow as individuals to be the very best servants of God and His people that we can possibly be.

Note that when we are resurrected we are not all going to have the same power and spiritual ability.

1Co 15:40  There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 
1Co 15:41  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 
1Co 15:42  So also is the resurrection of the dead.

Even in the parable of the talents we see that each of us grows and develops as an individual with varying degrees of success.

The world wants to lump everybody together as a team where all are alike and no one stands above another in value or abilities, but that is not the way of God. God is all about the individual’s ability to perform. The Family or Kingdom has never been about rank or authority it has and always will be about the individual’s strength and ability to do the job. The Caveat being that in this life to succeed in overcoming we must always lean on God for strength and wisdom to grow by.

But that is why, that as heirs of the Kingdom, no weapon formed against us as individuals will prosper.

(Isa 54:17)  No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Do you begin to see the power of the individual amongst the people of God? We are individual members of one body. But each and every part of that body is needed by the body.

1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 
1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 
1Co 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many. 
1Co 12:15  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 
1Co 12:16  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 
1Co 12:17  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 
1Co 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 
1Co 12:19  And if they were all one member, where were the body? 
1Co 12:20  But now are they many members, yet but one body. 
1Co 12:21  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 
1Co 12:22  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 
1Co 12:23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 
1Co 12:24  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 

God is not looking for “Team Players” he is looking for men and women of God who are striving to become the very best servants that they can be of God almighty, people of God who can focus on the Goals of their personal congregations and help them achieve their goals!

So that is my take on this subject. But what about you? Do any of you have comments that might counter this concept or add to it in any way? I really would like to hear from you either way.

Raymond Mills
Church of God Community Web