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Teams–We Need the Differences

By September 18, 2015April 5th, 2016No Comments
Zebra on lookout from the top

Zebra on lookout from the top

One of the most amazing sights on our two-day African safari (photographic only) a few weeks ago was the gathering of the animals at the river crossing. We watched as wildebeests and zebras ran for miles to get there. This was during the annual Great Migration when thousands of animals cross this river and migrate to the other side where there are fresh fields of grass. That morning we watched nearby as more and more of them gathered in an area that has a choice of two downslopes that allow them to get to the water.

Apparently the wildebeest has a great sense of smell which drives them to the water, and the zebras have keen eyes to see predators lurking. Generally, they travel together and depend on one another.

Once hundreds were gathered, four zebras took the lead. Initially they looked from the top of the bank, but in time they descended to the water. After some time they returned to the top and moved to the next crossing a few hundred feet away, where the drama began again. It appeared that there would be a crossing, but the zebras were spooked by the crocodiles and suddenly ran back up the slope. The crowd of animals dispersed.

Lead zebra

Lead zebra

I am amazed at ways that nature reflects spiritual truth! The Creator God provides wonderful pictures to help us understand. After our safari, my head was filled with the parallels.

God has made each of us with specific gifts and talents so that we provide strengths that show off his power and serve the church (Rom. 12:3-8; Eph. 4:4-16; 1 Cor. 12-14; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

That means that our differences allow us to provide unique strengths when we work together. Just as the zebra and wildebeest work as a team to cross the river, we need to be sure that our teams are comprised of people with different gifting–gifting that requires us to listen to each other.

Some of us have better sight to see the problems and roadblocks ahead, as the zebras do. Rather than ignore their thoughts as negative, a wise leader will be sure that such people are part of every team to enable the group to work together to eliminate possible issues before they happen.

Some of us have a sense of where to go as the wildebeests do. We need to hear their thoughts before moving a group, ministry, or church forward.

Wisdom comes from God, but he often uses people to provide it. As you put together your teams, choose those who bring other perspectives, even though it may require working harder to come to decisions. God has provided their strengths for a reason. The strengths of other team members will help balance them out.

What experiences have you had with a team with a mixture of strengths and gifts?

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